Access to rail freight sites market study


We carried out a public market study between September 2010 and February 2011 into access to rail freight sites in Great Britain. 

This resulted in a stakeholder consultation from May to July 2011, in which we described a number of potential issues affecting this sector, with a particular focus on the effectiveness of the various provisions that were put in place at privatisation to prevent the control of sites by rail freight operators acting as a barrier to competition.

These mechanisms did not appear to be working entirely effectively and we concluded that overall this market should not be given a clean bill of health. 

At that time, we did not feel that it was necessary to refer the market to the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)) However, we felt that the issues were sufficiently serious to require resolution and took the view that industry-led solutions would provide the most effective approach. 

Our short consultation on un-discharged actions, issued on 27 October 2014, set out the progress made by the industry and sought stakeholders' views on the materiality of the un-discharged actions on the plan, and the extent to which they should be pursued. The responses to this consultation can be found below: 

Our conclusions and the next steps to the access to rail freight sites study have also been published.

Further information

The development and agreement by the freight operators of a Code of Practice around access to freight sites was one of the agreed measures to improve the functioning of this market. This Code of Practice on access was agreed on 31 May 2013.

Freight operators are currently working to develop a Code of Practice on the transfer of leases.