The publication of the All-Island Strategic Rail Review identifies a much-needed vision for rail freight across the island of Ireland, according to Nichola Mallon – Logistics UK’s Head of Trade and Devolved Policy.
Ms Mallon commented: “Currently, there is no freight moved by rail in Northern Ireland, with restrictions to rail lines facilitating passenger travel only. Delivery of enhanced rail connectivity to move goods would be a game changer for the logistics industry which underpins the economy. With onefreight train able to remove up to 76 HGVs from the road, it would significantly reduce road congestion and emissions and facilitate more efficient transport of goods to ports giving a boost to trade. While some of the 30 recommendations in the report could take up to 25 years to deliver, there are new rail freight services that could be up and running within the next two years.
“While viability must be carefully considered, the economic and environmental benefits are clear. What is now needed is governments’ commitment and investment to make it happen. Northern Ireland needs an Executive and Assembly to be reinstated and for it to work in partnership with the Irish Government to take these transformative projects forward.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, water and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.