Setting a freight growth target for rail

In the Plan for Rail, the UK Government committed to setting a rail freight growth target. In response to this commitment, the Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) developed a range of rail freight growth target options; a key part of this work was to engage with industry through a formal call for evidence.

Call for evidence responses: summary report

Here is the summary report of the responses to the call for evidence:

About the call for evidence

The call for evidence ran from 5 July to 27 September 2022.

The purpose of this call for evidence was to develop an understanding of how much of the current and future market demand for freight could be met by rail, and the role rail can play in the nation’s supply chains. The call for evidence helped GBRTT to understand the realistic volume of goods that could be transferred to rail; where the potential for future rail freight traffic exists and where new rail terminals could be needed.

The call for evidence was a key way in which we engaged with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure an evidence-based approach to the development of our growth target options. To build this evidence base, GBRTT sought the views and ideas from the widest possible range of stakeholders within and beyond the rail and logistics sectors on how to increase the amount of freight that is moved by rail.

Responses were used to inform advice for Ministers for a rail freight growth target. Using the feedback, GBRTT developed an evidence-led analytical framework to produce options for a stretching but realistic target. This advice was presented to the Secretary of State at the end of October 2023.

In December 2023, the DfT announced a rail freight growth target of 75% growth in net freight tonne kilometres by 2050.

Working in partnership with colleagues across GBRTT, NR, and the wider freight sector, GBRTT’s Strategic Freight Unit will lead further work in 2024 to develop plans and actions for delivering this level of rail freight growth.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our work on the rail freight growth target, please email

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