24 September 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT responds to statistics that show a record breaking fall in rail freight during the Covid-19 crisis.
TRANSPORT UNION RMT today responded to rail freight usage and performance statistics released by the Office of Rail and Road that show a record breaking fall in rail freight moved and lifted during the first quarter of the 2020 financial period (April to July).
RMT today called on the Government to put in place a National Investment Strategy for rail freight that would safeguard the rail freight sector as it recovers from the Covid-19 crisis and to achieve maximum modal shift from road haulage to rail to ensure the UK leads the way in the fight against climate change.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Whilst these latest statistics are very worrying it is encouraging to hear form our members on the ground and from Network Rail that rail freight is making a strong recovery in the second quarter of the year and we’ll keep an eye out for further updates.
"This recovery is in no small part down to our members in the rail freight sector who, as key workers, have played a vital role in our response to the Covid-19 crisis, keeping our country’s vital medical and food supplies moving.
"The Government must now finally show its commitment to this sector by ensuring its long term future with an investment strategy as part of a green new deal to protect and increase jobs in the sector and that will see much more freight shifted from road to rail as our country not only faces a Covid-19 crisis but a climate crisis as well”