The Rail Freight Group has released a position paper on East West Rail (EWR), detailing how freight services can help the proposed new railway become the catalyst for economic development along the Oxford-Cambridge corridor.
It says that rail freight could supply most of the construction materials needed to build an estimated 85,000 homes earmarked in the corridor over the next 20 years. Each train would move the equivalent of 30 houses’ worth of material, keeping up to 75 lorries off the road.
To demonstrate this potential, the policy paper outlines where rail freight is already successfully operating, and identifies sites for possible freight facilities on the line.
However, it also warns that this cannot happen on EWR unless freight is planned from the outset, and consideration given to different approaches to funding the line and its future operation.