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Go-ahead for longer freight trains out of Southampton is a boost to local air quality

22 June 2018

Campaign for Better Transport welcomes the planning permission at Redbridge, Southampton, for freight sidings to allow for longer freight trains which can further reduce air pollution and road congestion both locally and on the whole A34 corridor to the West Midlands and beyond.

The development means that the existing 20 daily consumer freight trains in and out of Southampton, which already remove around 1,600 HGVs per day, will be capable of removing an additional 728 HGVs each day as part of a wider scheme to allow 775 metre trains out of Southampton port.

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager, Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“In the week that Southampton Council announced plans for a Clean Air Zone in the city, re-opening these rail lines (sidings) and unlocking a pinch-point on the railway, is significant as it will reduce local air pollution and road congestion.  Rail freight produces 90 per cent less PM10 particulates and up to 15 times less nitrogen dioxide emissions than HGVs for the equivalent journey.

“The longer trains can remove an extra 200,000 HGVs each year from local roads and the whole A34 corridor to the Midlands and the North. Furthermore, it will improve road safety as Government figures show that HGVs are almost seven times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than cars on local roads.”


For further information contact:

Campaign for Better Transport press office on 07984 773 468 or communications@bettertransport.org.

Notes to editors

  • The freight sidings will enable longer trains of 775 metres, up from the current 520 metres.
  • The longer trains can remove an extra 364 HGVs each day in and out of the port 6 days a week 48 weeks a year. Calculation is 364 x 2 x6 x48 = 210,000 HGVs.
  • Source: Traffic statistics table TRA0104, Accident statistics Table RAS 30017, both DfT
  • Read the planning report here - Planning Application Report of the Service Lead – Infrastructure, Planning & Development
  • Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).