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Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies his Department has undertaken to find out the environmental cost of transporting freight by road as compared to transport by rail.

The environmental cost of transporting goods by road and rail will vary from case to case, and so no general conclusions from studies of the type suggested can be drawn.

In those cases where the transfer of goods from road to rail is shown to provide clear and worthwhile environmental benefits, section 8 of the 1974 Railways Act provides for grants to be paid.