Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 17 July 2013
Network Rail had identified gaps in capacity through their Route Utilisation Strategies (RUS). The strategies relevant to the council were the Northern RUS, Yorkshire and Humber RUS and the Freight RUS.
In a changing and challenging economic environment, Network Rail saw the need to be more flexible to challenges whilst still planning for the long-term. The Long-Term Planning Process allowed Network Rail to do this over a 30 year time period, whilst building on the work carried out as part of the RUS process.
As part of this, Network Rail developed a series of ‘Market Studies’. These had forecast demand over a 10-30 year time period for Freight, Regional-urban, Long distance and London and the South East. Relevant to North Lincolnshire were the Regional Urban and the Freight Market Studies.
These studies would form the basis for future franchise specifications and secure the long-term investment to ensure the future capability of the network. This was particularly important given the renewal of both the Northern and Transpennine franchises and the proposed devolution of rail from Government to Rail North (the North of England).
The South Humber Ports had 25% of the UK’s rail freight travelling through it and one of the highest numbers of freight paths in the country. The Northern RUS highlighted that by 2030 more than 80 (currently 50) freight paths, in each direction, would operate on the North Lincolnshire network. Freight was of huge importance to the South Humber area.
Passenger services were also important to the North Lincolnshire area, particularly in connecting people to work and leisure opportunities. They also attracted people into North Lincolnshire, thereby boosting the local economy.
The Freight Market Study and the Regional Urban Market Study were currently out for consultation. The matter was urgent as Network Rail’s consultation deadline for responses was 26 July 2013.
Resolved – That consultation response to Network Rail’s Freight Market Study and Regional Urban Market Study be acknowledged and approved.