GBRf: Extra fees threaten biomass and coal traffic

GB RAILFREIGHT has objected strongly to new and increased network charges on freight traffic proposed by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), and cast doubt on the organisation’s commitment to developing railfreight.

GBRf argues increased charges on commodities such as power station coal and the introduction of new charges for biomass trains will endanger the profitability of railfreight, and lead to an overall increase in energy generation costs at a time when the Government says it is committed to improving air quality and economic productivity.

Additional access charges threaten the viability of traffic such as coal and biomass for energy generation, argues GBRf. In fading winter light, GBRf No. 66749 runs alongside the Rochdale Canal at Gale, on the Calder Valley route, near Littleborough, with a Liverpool Docks to Drax biomass train on November 30. NEIL HARVEY

GBRf believes the ORR proposals show a lack of understanding of freight and end user contracts, and the ability of Freight Operating Companies to absorb additional costs.

The company also highlights the lack of a clear understanding of the actual costs of energy generation using biomass, and thus an inability to develop a fair and reasonable charging model. It also cites diminishing confidence in the ability of ORR to accurately understand the profitability of rail freight haulage in the UK.

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