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A 'freight first' approach is needed to beat road and rail congestion in the UK

January 29, 2019 / Gavin van Marle

A new report from UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) has established what most container truckers and their customers know from everyday experience: that vast amounts of time are lost due to road congestion. A Strategic Freight Network for the UK report by industry consultant MDS Transmodal found that an astonishing 50,000 HGV hours a day are wasted, amounting to 19m a year. And combined, road and rail congestion costs the UK’s economy some £539m every year. In addition, capacity limitations in the rail network prevent some 3m tonnes a year of transferring to rail. However, the report also found that much of the congestion that impacts UK hinterland supply chains could be relatively easily remedied, particularly if policy makers adopted a “freight-first” approach. “Prioritising improvement on just 2.4% of England’s road network and key routes in Scotland and Wales, together with just seven out of around 1,000 major junctions on the rail network, would tran...