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UKMPG "identifies Strategic Freight Network for the UK" in new report

Focus on just 2.4% of the road network and seven out of 1,000 main rail junctions would unlock over 50,000 hours every day, and over time plough an extra £14.2B of value into the UK economy, says the UK Major Ports Group

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Focus on just 2.4% of the road network and seven out of 1,000 main rail junctions would unlock over 50,000 hours every day, and over time plough an extra £14.2B of value into the UK economy, says the UK Major Ports Group


The report was developed for UKMPG by the respected transport and logistics consultancy firm MDS Transmodal. It found that a total of £14.2B could be unlocked over a 60-year period by taking a "freight-first" approach to:


  • Ensuring that freight has a higher priority in UK transport planning and funding allocations
  • Establishing key capacity constraints on a cross transport mode basis
  • Building in the benefits of trade through freight on a consistent basis in project appraisals
  • Developing the business cases for investment in key bottlenecks taking into account the benefits and opportunities across transport modes.
UK Strategic Freight Network infographic, from UKMPG
UK Strategic Freight Network infographic, from UKMPG

The report finds that congestion on key routes and locations in the country obstructs the UK economy, amounting to 50,000 HGV hours wasted every day (19M per annum) and 3 Mtpa of rail freight restricted, costing an estimated £539M every year.


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 transform our freight network and unlock value to the UK economy which far outstrip the cost of investment," said the UKMPG.


"With Brexit just around the corner, discussion has been rife about how effectively Britain can continue to trade and transport goods. Focusing on our strategic freight network and taking a ‘freight-first approach would be a common-sense first step to ensure the country is as prepared for future trading as we possibly can be."


Tim Morris, CEO of UKMPG, said: “We have long suspected the significant impact that congestion in our freight network has on UK productivity, but this report exposes the major extent of this. And the potential identified is just in terms of freight industry value – the value to manufacturers, retailers and other industries for their own businesses will add substantially to this benefit. We need a new ‘freight first’ approach to ensure that Britain can live up to its true potential.


“Leaking money because of avoidable congestion is an own goal. As this report shows, some smart, targeted prioritisation can exponentially improve our freight network as this crucial moment for our country."


UKMPG’s nine members own and operate over 40 ports, accounting for 75% of the total tonnage handled in UK ports.

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