Government shouldn't be encouraging more road freight through Kent

Contributed by editor on Jan 14, 2009 - 12:00 AM

The Kent Green Party have attacked the Government's reported plans to
increase freight charges for Eurostar trains by nearly five times more
than normal Network Rail charges, despite an increase in Heavy Goods
Vehicles (HGVs) moving through Kent each year of 7-8%.

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Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, said: "We
need to reduce the number of heavy lorries travelling through Kent not
encourage more of them.

"Clearly, increasing rail freight is a major option we must use to
achieve this, but the Government plans to charge nearly 500% more for
freight travelling on Kent's high speed lines than the usual Network
Rail freight charges.

"This may decrease the amount of freight carried by rail instead of
increasing it.

"Since Heavy Goods Vehicles travelling through Kent are increasing at
7-8% a year, it is obvious that rail freight needs reasonable charges
and increased investment in order to compete. The Government is behaving
as if it thinks more traffic congestion and more air pollution are