There has been a move in recent months to ease the pressure on main roads between Scotland and England by encouraging transporters to use railways rather than trucks to forward freight.
This move has been backed by the government led by the Department of Transport. Ministers have proposed a grant scheme designed to incentivise freight forwarding companies to use rail rather than road transportation.
The new grant scheme, if adopted, will give financial support to those freight companies that opt to move cargo by train.
As one government spokesperson explained:
‘The major roads between Scotland and England are becoming increasingly congested and it is becoming imperative to ease the burden of traffic. Not only are driving conditions becoming more and more unpleasant for travellers, but the heavy traffic is also bad for the environment.
We hope that the new measures will help alleviate the problem to a certain extent by encouraging freight forwarding companies to move their lorries off the roads’.
Indeed road congestion and the consequent increased journey times have been shown to have a direct effect of drivers’ stress levels. Furthermore, standing traffic generates high levels of carbon emissions which are very damaging to the environment.
The traffic on the major roads between Scotland and England is particularly heavy. According to one official report around two hundred and sixty lorries use the roads every week to transport freight up and down the country.
It is hoped that moving lorries off the roads and encouraging freight companies to use trains as a way of transporting cargo will help ease the congestion which will have a positive knock on effect for people’s health and also the environment.
There is cause for optimism. According to the Scottish government since 1999 over sixty million lorry miles have been removed from Scottish roads. Let us hope then that the new scheme helps to increase this figure further.
GBS Freight is a freight forwarding company based in the UK that transports cargo around the world by air, sea and road.