Rail upgrade could ‘relieve A14 congestion’

The Rail Freight Group (RFG) has supported the call on Government from the CBI to urgently improve UK infrastructure, but suggested that rather than develop toll roads, rail upgrades should be the priority on the A14 corridor.

A recent survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), done in conjunction with KPMG, found that out of 477 businesses, 58% rated the UK’s infrastructure worse than other EU countries when judged on quality, value for money and reliability.

Furthermore, only 26% of firms saw the UK as a ‘favourable destination for infrastructure investment.’

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

“Firms across the country say that the infrastructure they depend on every working day is just not good enough and is stifling growth.”

Commenting on the statement, the RFG pressed for the completion of the upgrade of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton (F2N) route, as a cost effective way of relieving congestion on the A14 for freight moving from the port of Felixstowe, ahead of the privately funded toll road proposed by the CBI.

Maggie Simpson, RFG Policy Manager, said:

“The amount of containers moving through Felixstowe by rail is growing all the time, but this could be significantly increased if the route was upgraded to meet modern demands.

“Plans are expected to be included in the rail industry’s planning document due to go to Ministers later this month.

“A cost effective rail scheme must be the priority ahead of major new road infrastructure as a way of delivering a sustainable and efficient transport system in England.

“Such investment would help decongest not just the A14, but would have a positive knock-on effect to all major connecting motorways.”

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