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Rail Freight

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what initiatives he is taking to increase the volume of freight carried by rail.

We have authorised British Rail investment of over £400 million in preparation for channel tunnel freight services and have asked British Rail to explore opportunities for involving the private sector to develop them further. Open access for freight will break British Rail's monopoly and allow new operators to provide the services the customer wants. I have also announced three important new measures to boost the prospects for rail freight—improvements to the existing freight facilities grant scheme; the introduction of a new grant scheme to assist with Railtrack's charges; and consultation on a proposal for a lorry weight incentive of 44 tonnes for vehicles delivering to railheads.