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cardinal cover advert.indd 1 Malta page 18: 12/03/2013 14:28 Freeport weathers the storm p.18/ Truckers look online for business p.24 Ro Ro page 32: Dunkirk shows spirit p.33/ Sulphur cloud looms p.34

Crunch time on the railways as capacity shortage starts to bite

The UK rail network could soon run out of capacity for freight and action needs to be taken to make the system fit for purpose, transport experts are warning. If not, the system could be effectively closed to new freight services in about a decade, they say.

Ken Russell, director of the Russell Group and Labour MP

Kelvin Hopkins are warning that while the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) route from London to Birmingham – legislation for which was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 8 May – may speed up journeys for rail passengers, it will offer no help to freight operators as increased Inter-City services on the West Coast Main Line north of the first section between London and Birmingham will put even greater pressure on freight paths, they claim. Hopkins and Russell point out that much of the West Coast

Main Line, Midland Main Line and East Coast Main Line are now operating close to capacity during parts of the day. MDS Transmodal, the transport forecasters and statisticians used by Government, have very recently produced new forecasts that indicate that by 2023, unconstrained freight demand on these three north-south routes, taken together, will grow by 65%. Ken Russell is a director at Russell Group, one of the UK’s

major freight train and terminal operators , which has terminals in Scotland and also at Barking and other locations in England. Kelvin Hopkins is Labour MP for Luton North takes a particular interest in transport matters and sits regularly on the Commons Transport Committee. Rail has defied the slump in the general

freight market in the recession and, together with growth in passenger traffic and, will

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Moving hay while the sun doesn’t shine – Nolan Transport to the rescue

The Irish transport industry has come to the rescue of the country’s dairy farmers reeling from the effects of bad weather which has virtually wiped out cattle fodder production in many parts of the country. Nolan Transport moved about 20 truckloads of hay every weekday from southern England to Munster from mid April to mid-May to shore up depleted supplies. At the time of writing in mid-May, it had handled over 300 loads for Dairygold, one of the country’s biggest milk producers. It was part of a nationwide effort that has seen around 1,500

truckloads imported into the country, following last year’s wet summer and the cold start to 2013, which has had a serious effect on grass growth in Ireland. Nolan Transport’s Colm Murphy said: “The relief on farmers’

faces when our trucks arrive is palpable.” Trailers were being unloaded by farmers “as soon as the curtains were opened”.

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