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Go ahead for SE London freight interchange good for economy and air quality

17 February 2017

Freight on Rail welcomes last nights’ planning approval for the rail freight interchange at Howbury Park in South East London which can help the Mayor reduce air pollution, congestion, road crashes and carbon emissions in the capital. 

The Howbury Park interchange represents an important element of the network of strategic rail freight interchanges being developed across the country to ensure that consumer freight can be transported long distance by rail to the edge of conurbations.

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager said: “Howbury Park will allow consumer goods to be transported to London by rail and then transferred into low emissions vehicles for final deliveries across the capital. Interchanges like Howbury enable rail freight to compete with lorries because they reduce the transhipment costs between the modes.

“Rail freight, which produces 90 per cent less PM10 particulates and up to 15 times less nitrogen dioxide emissions than HGVs for the equivalent journey, provides part of the solution to London’s air pollution.”


For further information please contact Philippa Edmunds on 020 8241 9982 / 07593 976 548 or philippa.edmunds@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

[1] Bexley Council’s planning committee voted to support the officer recommendation for consent of Roxhill’s revised proposals for the former ProLogis SRFI scheme on Thursday evening 16 February 2017. Howbury Park SRFI received planning permission in 2008 but because of the recession the scheme was put on hold and the permission lapsed.

[2] DfT Logistics Perspective December 2008

Highways England figures show that HGVs are producing around 50 per cent of the nitrogen oxide pollution from road pollution on the strategic road network even though they only make up five per cent of road miles driven in the UK.

[3] A consumer freight train can remove 75 HGVs and an aggregates train can remove up to 160 HGVs – Network Rail Value of Freight 2013

Large HGVs are up to 160,000 times more damaging to road surfaces than the average car – 4th power law

[4] The latest Government figures show that HGVs are almost six times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal collisions on minor roads. In the previous two years, HGVs were more than six times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents on minor roads demonstrating that these figures have been consistent.

In 2014, on motorways, HGVs were involved in almost half (45 per cent of fatal collisions although they only accounted for 11.6 per cent of the miles driven on them). Source: Traffic statistics table TRA0104, Accident statistics Table RAS 30017, both DfT

[5] Rail freight produces 76 per cent less CO2 emissions than the equivalent HGV journey – DfT Rail freight Strategy 2016

[6] Freight on Rail is a partnership between Campaign for Better Transport, the rail freight industry and transport trade unions.