Mole gets on track to port

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole rode the rails to see the progress being made in getting more cargo off the roads, cutting congestion and pollution.Mr Mole took a ride in the locomotive cab of a Freightliner train from Peterborough to Felixstowe to see the condition of the East-West rail route out of the Haven ports, before visiting the rail terminal in Felixstowe.

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole rode the rails to see the progress being made in getting more cargo off the roads, cutting congestion and pollution.

Mr Mole took a ride in the locomotive cab of a Freightliner train from Peterborough to Felixstowe to see the condition of the East-West rail route out of the Haven ports, before visiting the rail terminal in Felixstowe.

The rail industry has welcomed recent news that the Felixstowe to Nuneaton (F2N) route has been identified for government funding to help promote the use of rail freight.

The funding, from the £132 million Transport Innovation Fund (TIF), will enable bridges and tunnels to be widened to allow the new high-cube boxes to use the line, avoiding the need to travel via London.

Hutchinson Ports UK, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, are also contributing to the project as part of their expansion plans.

Mr Mole said: “There has been a massive growth in freight travelling by rail and I am pleased to see the government investing in the rail freight sector.

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“There is much to be done to update this line, but I am encouraged a start is being made.

“Transferring freight off our roads and on to rail makes perfect sense. It is cleaner, greener and helps keep ports like Felixstowe competitive!

“The Great Eastern Line to London will become increasingly busy with developments like Crossrail, and we need an additional route for freight to leave the Haven ports.

“I also know that congestion on the A14 is a big issue for the people of Ipswich and increasing opportunities for freight to travel by rail is one key way of reducing pollution - both noise and CO2 - into our environment.”

Lindsay Durham, head of rail strategy at Freightliner, said: “The numbers of containers entering the deep sea ports such as Felixstowe are set to increase and it is important that our rail network can support this growth.

“Freightliner currently moves 20 per cent of all boxes that arrive at the Port of Felixstowe - these developments will help to maintain this share and will continue to limit the number of lorries needed to transport goods to the Midlands, North West, North East and Scotland.”