Department for Transport delivers more funding to support freight

The Department for Transport has today announced funding grants of more than £20m to support freight transport in the UK. The awards, from three separate funding programmes, combine to improve the freight infrastructure of the country and reduce the amount of freight transported by road.

£18.5m of funding is being awarded to enhance the Gospel Oak to Barking line in London. The enhancement, funded from the Transport Innovation Fund, will enable the line to transport more goods from key ports in the south east. The upgrade will also allow the line to be used as an alternative route for freight trains during upcoming maintenance works on the North London Line.

A further £2.1m in grants has been awarded to five freight infrastructure projects through the Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) scheme. The funding, awarded to three different companies, will upgrade facilities at Tolworth goods yard, Brierley Hill, Southampton Docks, Barry Docks and the Port of Heysham. Collectively, the projects will remove 39 million lorry km from Britain's roads over the next ten years.

The Department has also provisionally awarded just over £350,000 for this financial year as part of the Rail Environmental benefits Procurement Scheme (REPS). This funding, for carrying freight by rail that would otherwise be carried by roads, will help remove almost 28,000 lorry journeys from the UK road network. This is in addition to £44m of new REPS grants announced in June this year.

Transport Minister Tom Harris said:

"These awards underline the Department's commitment to improving the freight network in this country. This year alone, the DfT has announced more than £65m to support freight, by upgrading the infrastructure and subsidising greener ways of transporting freight.

"This funding will help to make a significant contribution to reducing road congestion, carbon and environmental emissions. In this way everyone wins."