Despite the current challenges facing the railway and the economy, the event provided a clear reminder of the strong appetite from customers to put more freight on rail.
The current position for freight
The annual freight customer event is always a great space to talk about challenges, innovations and ongoing priorities.
It was great to be able to explain how ORR is working to ensure fair access and treatment for freight and what we are planning for the next control period starting in 2024 .
We heard from Guy Bates, Head of Freight Development at Network Rail, who explained current challenges with freight. He shared Network Rail’s plans to enhance freight capacity.
And Kate Jennings, Director of Policy, from Logistics UK, shared the customer’s views: highlighting the importance for rail freight to be as competitive with road freight.
What lies ahead
There are a lot of opportunities for freight and Andrea Pearson, Deputy Director of International Rail and Rail Freight at the Department for Transport, talked through DfT’s multifaceted approach to grow rail freight. She shared the vision to deliver a freight and logistics sector that is cost effective and reliable.
Fiona Hesling from Transport Scotland, and Richard Moody from Great British Railways Transition Team, shared their organisations’ priorities for freight, including the potential for decarbonisation . The Q&A and panel discussion generated a rich discussion. It was a pleasure listening to industry colleagues, understanding their priorities and making new connections. We look forward to continuing the conversation over the course of the year and welcoming more people to next year’s annual event.
For more on ORR's ambitions for the rail freight sector visit our website.
Andrea Pearson, Deputy Director, International Rail and Rail Freight (DFT) at the ORR freight customer event 2023.
Richard Moody, Programme Director, Freight Reform (GBRTT) at the ORR freight customer event 2023.
Fiona Hesling, Deputy Director (Transport Scotland) at the ORR freight customer event 2023.
Guy Bates, Head of Freight Development (Network Rail) at the ORR freight customer event 2023.
Kate Jennings, Director of Policy (Logistics UK) at the ORR freight customer event 2023.