Yorkshire and Humber Region
Is comprised of Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire
Has a Regional Spatial Strategy, which was converted from RPG, which lasts until the end of 2006
The Region is currently working on the draft Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) and Draft Regional Transport Strategy (RTS), which will incorporate the Freight Strategy, and will be consulted on later this year and then go to the Government Office. The second stage incorporates an Examination in Public likely in early 2006 with the final document going to the Secretary of State late in 2006.
7.51 The Government’s objectives and proposals for freight are set out in Sustainable Distribution: A Strategy (March 1999). It makes clear that land-use planning can have a significant impact on distribution, through policies and decisions on patterns of development and transport infrastructure. The aim of RSS in relation to freight transport should be to achieve an integrated and sustainable system of distribution which makes the most efficient use of all modes through having regard to:-
7.52 Local authorities have a crucial role in the implementation of the strategy set out in Sustainable Distribution, and should seek to develop integrated freight distribution plans, promoting the efficient and effective use of all modes of transport, while recognising that road will continue to be the dominant mode of freight distribution for the foreseeable future. The strategy highlights the range of issues that need to be addressed. These range from the promotion of rail and water borne freight to detailed consideration of issues such as lorry, air quality, climate change, noise and disturbance of local communities.
7.56 Greater use can be made of existing road/rail intermodal facilities, and the extensive rail network can be re-linked to major freight movement origins and destination to replace transport by road.
7.57 Consideration should be given to the potential use of available grants to help businesses switch freight transport from road to rail or water by assisting with the extra costs.
is a particular bottleneck on the rail network serving the South Humber
Bank urgently requiring a package of improvements to increase capacity
by raising track speeds, improving junctions and providing an additional
route for freight using the Wrawby-Gainsborough line.
In preparing development plans and local transport plans opportunities should be sought to deliver an integrated freight distribution system which makes the most efficient and effective use of road, rail and water (inland and coastal). In particular policies should be developed which:-
Humber rail freight section of Freight Strategy Rail
Traditional bulk flows of industrial commodities remain the dominant rail freight movement in Yorkshire and the Humber, although an increasing number of containers are being moved by rail.
Up to 33% of rail freight lifted within the UK is actually lifted within the region. A significant proportion of rail freight lifted in Yorkshire and Humber is generated from the import of goods (primarily coal and other bulk products) through the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham. Such movements travel on the South Humber line both to destinations within and outside the region.
At Immingham, there is direct rail access from the port. At Grimsby, there are direct quayside rail connections. At Goole, full trainloads of cargo can be brought directly into the port. A new rail terminal north of West Dock uses specialized rolling stock in conjunction with EWS to handle steel, unitised cargo and containers. At Hull, there are rail links into parts of Hull Dock.
There are five inter-modal freight terminals in Yorkshire and Humber, in addition to the inter-modal facilities at the region’s ports. Three rail freight operators operate in the region: EWS Railways; Freightliner; and GB Railfreight.
Although no other rail freight companies are planning to operate within the region in the near future, the three that currently do are operating efficiently and have invested heavily in new locomotives and rolling stock, which have improved service reliability.
There is some concern from freight operators relating to the Government’s rail review and the SRA Consultation on in relation to the potential transfer of management to regional or local bodies and the possible implications for reduced standards on routes. These concerns are somewhat comparable to those of road freight operators in relation to the process of detrunking.
One of the routes that might be under consideration as a “community rail line” is Ulceby-Barton on Humber which used to serve New Holland Bulk Terminal, where various commodities are handled including agricultural produce. The line could have potential for freight use in the future, particularly if further development takes place on the south bank of the Humber between New Holland and Killingholme. The point here is to ensure that even if local lines do go into local management, the interests of rail freight users should not be jeopardised.
Freight Facilities Grants (FFG), have been the main capital support to the rail freight sector for over two decades. Recent successful applicants from the region include the Potter Group, for their rail connected distribution centre at Selby and DFDS, for facilities at Immingham. The suspension of FFG by the SRA makes it more difficult for private operators to make investment plans. The latest situation is that the SRA have written to a number of interested parties hoping for a resumption of the FFG advising them that there will be no grants until the subject is reviewed as part of the Treasury Spending Review.
Nationally, since rail privatisation, there has been a 20% increase in the number of rail services on the network. There are several key places in Yorkshire and Humber where the rail network is operating either close to or actually at capacity. Some of the most constrained parts of the network include:
key congested areas, the route between Immingham and Doncaster via Barnetby
and Scunthorpe is of primary concern, since failure to upgrade this
section of network will hinder the growth of the South Humber ports.
On the north side of the Humber, the line between Doncaster, Selby and
Hull is also constrained despite supporting significantly less traffic
than the southern Humber line. There are two separate programmes of
work to improve the capacity of the South Humber line that already handles
almost 25% of the total rail freight tonnage in the UK. Planned minor
infrastructure upgrades at Wrawby Junction where the Scunthorpe and
Gainsborough Lines diverge will remove line speed restrictions on the
South Humber line. Secondly improvements on the Brigg line would help
the current situation by allowing an additional 8 trains a day each
way. Although the improvements will enhance the overall line capacity
sufficiently to cope with the immediate anticipated growth in volume
there are several new developments planned at Immingham that may require
a considerably higher number of additional trains a day. This issue
needs further investigation to ensure that rail line capacity is not
a limiting factor for either a growth in rail freight or growth in the
6.2. Capacity and Gauge Enhancement Policy
bottlenecks and capacity constraints likely to affect future growth
of rail freight and lobby for targeted improvement .
There are bottlenecks on the national network which will eventually impede growth, but the most serious bottlenecks are not physically in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, although they may affect traffic to/from the region. There is a need to assess capacity issues from a freight point of view and suggest solutions.
The Hull line from Selby and Doncaster, on the north side of the Humber is also severely constrained both physically and operationally partly because it is closed at night to any rail traffic. There is a need to get an appropriate balance of access for both maintenance and operation. Although little freight traffic currently comes out of Hull with several “freight paths” unused in the daytime this situation may not always remain the case especially with planned port expansion. There is potential for additional traffic possibly imported coal, chemicals, containers, train ferry wagons etc and the single track route around Hull to Saltend is slow and not ideal. Although it is recognised that Network Rail need to get access to the line for maintenance purposes and there is no point wasting valuable resources employing signalmen and operational staff if there is little or no demand for trains at night a review of 24 hour track access may be warranted in the future.
operators and customers had suffered from the poor performance of the
network. The large number of ‘temporary’ speed restrictions
undermined the efficiency and productivity of freight operations, limiting
the freight operators’ ability to invest and grow their businesses.
These have been particularly noticeable on the South Humber mainline.
An upgrade of this route is seen as being of special importance to the
with the regional transport priorities continue strong regional support
for the campaign for a route capacity upgrade of the South Humber mainline
to enable it to handle additional tonnage and a gauge enhancement of
a Trans-Pennine route for high cube boxes.
6.3. Intermodal Terminals for the region
should support the development of further opportunities to enhance current
or develop new rail freight terminals in the region where need can be
demonstrated and commercial support is in place. The planning process
should support terminal provision in the following priority orders:
rail connected developments with committed business, sites with protected
rail connections, non-rail connected sites.
Clearly new developments are very much influenced by planning policies and constraints. It is sensible to have policies which ensure that land near main lines is used for purposes which can be served by rail and that any future industrial or commercial developments likely to produce a significant freight transport demand should be located at sites which are capable of offering multimodal transport solutions to the users.
to the recently published “SRA Freight Interchange Policy”
guide there are enough large strategic multimodal type freight terminals
in Yorkshire & Humber, but some expansion may be needed in Leeds.
This SRA assessment was based on the fact that its strategies address
the Government 10 year planned target. The more traditional Commodities
tend to develop as single occupier facilities in response to specific
customer demand. There are probably enough terminals at which to transfer
containers but there is scope for new “added value” terminals
that offer a range of other services including warehousing, picking
and deliveries. If the region really wants to expand rail freight it
needs to support the growth of terminals where this is demand led and
appropriate, for example in new distribution parks.
New Freight Services
freight train carrying industrial sand on a contract that will see two
to three trains a week running to the new Guardian UK glass factory
arrived at Goole Business Park on 17 February 2004. The former Renault
siding has been refurbished, reinstated and extended by Network Rail
on behalf of the regeneration body Yorkshire Forward. The single line
track is nearly 2km long, with the first 500 metres owned and operated
by Network Rail as a private siding connection from the Wakefield to
Goole line. The remainder is a private siding owned by Yorkshire Forward,
which funded the project. EWS has been awarded a five year contract
from WBB Minerals to move 130,000 tonnes a year of sand from Leziate
Quarry near King’s Lynn to the site.
positively to new planning developments in considering the potential
for multi modal opportunities.
6.4. Securing Adequate Funding
The region should continue to actively seek to source funding in order to deliver on the priority improvements; rail gauge and capacity in the region. This may take the form of gathering evidence of need, lobbying for national and European support and assisting with applications for private terminal developments.
been encouraging signs of new optimism in rail freight’s ability
to deliver good customer service in the recent past, however there is
evidence that the confidence of investors in developing rail solutions
or considering rail has been dented as a result of the Governments ongoing
funding difficulties for rail and doubts over its commitment to rail
freight. This has been manifested particularly by the suspension of
Freight Facilities Grants and the postponement of planned rail projects
during 2003/4 and that the freight innovation scheme did not continue
as planned. To make the investments necessary to increase the role of
rail freight in supply chains, industry needs to be reassured of ongoing
Government commitment and confidence in its willingness to deliver over
a period that enables them to plan against.
Grant Support Delivers
Freight Facilities Grant, introduced 25 years ago, has been the main capital support to rail freight by the government through the SRA. One of the successful applicants in 2002 in the Yorkshire and Humber region was the Potter Group at their inland multimodal terminal at Selby which received £1.6 million from the SRA securing private funding of £1 million saving 200,000 annual lorry journeys.
do not wish to run a business entirely dependent on grants, but think
that properly-thought-through arrangements which guarantee the delivery
of measurable environmental benefits are value for the taxpayer’s
money. The company neutral revenue support scheme sets out to achieve
for the reinstatement of the Freight Facilities Grant and assist prospective
users obtain funding through alternative routes such as the European
6.5. Supporting Freight Train Operating Companies
Rail freight has been one of the successes of rail privatisation. It is becoming more efficient, more competitive, improving productivity, improving performance and attracting considerable private sector investment and growing by 50%. Continued growth, investment and private sector involvement in rail freight depends on the continuation of independent economic regulation and the existence of a credible long term strategy for the railway to provide the requisite degree of assurance about the extent and functionality of the network and the capacity available for freight.
The private rail freight companies are now offering a significantly improved package of efficient services with an enhanced customer focused service in a spirit of competition. This is important in attracting new potential customers. There are several examples of “good practice” in the industry.
for the operation of train operating companies should be delivered through
the wider support of rail freight
Continued support to be given to an improvement in the network of diversionary routes for freight trains in the event of unexpected disruption and planned maintenance
issues have a national context and it is essential that regional authorities
understand this context; it is not in the least unusual for the solution
to one region’s problem or opportunity to be dependent on or found
in another region. The rail review about the future of the industry
is likely to report soon and it may involve a change in responsibilities
including the role of Network Rail and the SRA. One such national subject
is the provision of a good rail infrastructure. In connection with this
it is important to establish a network of diversionary rail lines not
only across the region but also across the country to provide alternatives
to freight customers both for periods of planned maintenance and times
of unplanned incidents for example landslides, train breakdowns, blocked
lines etc. The ability to reroute trains to ensure they reach their
destination is fundamental to providing a good and reliable customer
service. In addition to ensuring there is a suitable network of diversionary
routes for freight it is worth stating that any permanent downgrading
of parts of the rail network to lightweight local “passenger trains
only” as a measure to reduce maintenance costs may be counterproductive
to the possible reinstatement of freight services in the future. The
SRA Consultation on Community Rail Developments where the decision making
and management of certain rural routes may be given to local or regional
communities is a potential issue for freight operators. However it is
anticipated that most communities would be eager to encourage rail freight
developments to bring extra revenue even if local management goes ahead.
But the main issue is that track maintenance should be kept up to an
adequate level for freight.
should continue to campaign nationally for a functional network of diversionary
routes for freight trains.
6.7. Rail Disruption and Safet Relating to Other Modes
the extend and cost of the problem of bridge strikes and accident related
level crossing disruption in the region, identify the worst locations
and implement an action plan to improve safety and reduce road and rail
Whilst there is generally good physical separation between different modes, where road, rail and water courses cross conflict and damage can occur. There is a serious problem in the region of rail bridges being struck by road vehicles and to a lesser extent water traffic. Even when damage is minor this can cause much delay to both passenger and rail freight users as trains are unable to cross the affected bridge until it has been inspected and certified as being safe. Other consequences include delays to road users, the cost of traffic diversion and of course the actual costs of vehicle repair and bridge reconstruction. Road transport vehicles, both buses and lorries, are required by law to carry signs in the cab warning of the height of their vehicle. In certain cases the load height is different every time for example on open top tippers, so the sign has to be a variable one to be changed by the driver . There have been five instances of bridge strikes by boats and seven by buses but the highest incidence is of lorries with 48 incidents, representing over 60% of the total. There appears to be a type of lorry more prone to bridge strike and these appear to be in the area of variable height loads, for example, scrap metal, container (different height boxes), refuse and skip lorries.
Authorities should ensure that they are playing an active role in reducing this problem, this may take the form of active lorry routeing away from vulnerable bridges where possible, highly visible warning signs and other innovative approaches such as targeting industry sectors found to be most likely to cause bridge bashing incidents with information and represent over 40% of the problem areas and hence addressing these would make a major contribution to reducing the problem. The design of a “bridge bashing” leaflet targeted at skip, waste and container operators would also make a major contribution to awareness of the problem.
also cause considerable safety and transport disruption problems. Around
40% of rail fatalities for 2001/02 resulted from unsafe conduct by members
of the public. Although Network Rail own, operate and maintain over
9,000 level crossings across the national network of which 865 of them
are manned, there is a need for Local Authorities and the Highways Agency
to be aware of the importance of joint action to address the problem.
Although fatalities have been mentioned even less serious incidents
have an impact and can result in temporary road and rail line closures
causing delay and inconvenience to both passenger and freight traffic.
the worst locations of bridge strikes and level crossing incidents in
the region and suggest a programme of actions to minimize the future
TOP Locations Incidents