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Railways: Freight

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned research into the likely consequences of the introduction of a freight subsidy for the quantity of goods carried by rail. (295812)

The current rail environmental benefit procurement scheme has two components that provide revenue support for rail freight based upon the amount of lorries removed from the roads. The Department for Transport has reviewed both of the rail freight support schemes over the last two years. Consequently we are continuing with the well established freight facilities grant scheme and have secured European state aids clearance for the introduction of a revised revenue support scheme from April next year called mode shift revenue support. Both of the schemes are designed to help rail freight compete more effectively with road transport and to increase the quantity of goods transported by rail.