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Mail Transport (Rail)

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions have taken place with Royal Mail regarding use of rail to transport mail; and what plans he has to encourage the use of trains for this purpose. [121095]

The Department has had no discussions with Royal Mail about its decision to withdraw from rail.It is the Government's policy to promote a competitive and efficient distribution industry that supports economic growth while bringing benefits to society and the environment. Transferring more freight from the roads on to more sustainable modes is a key component of the Government's long term vision for transport.The Strategic Rail Authority published its first Freight Progress Report on 8 May, explaining achievements to date in facilitating more freight by rail. Copies of the report are available in the Libraries of the House.