Further grants to relieve pressure on Scotland's roads

Freight companies will continue to be encouraged to move their goods by rail or inland waterway, after Transport Scotland announced new grant awards to support modal shift.

As a means of relieving pressure on Scotland’s busy trunk roads, Transport Scotland offers financial support to companies who wish to transport their goods by rail or inland waterway. Road is often the most cost-effective way for companies to transport goods and the Mode Shift Revenue Support grant makes up the difference so that companies can use rail or inland waterway without being out of pocket.

In the coming year 2013/14, funding of £773,408 has been approved by Transport Minister Keith Brown. This will fund two key rail freight flows within Scotland as well as 10 cross-border freight flows.

Mr Brown explained : “This grant is part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to encourage modal shift, taking freight traffic off our roads and on to other less environmentally damaging means of transport.

“We realise that moving freight by rail or inland waterways isn’t always the most cost-effective option and this funding bridges that gap.

"Our recently announced canals policy ‘Making the most of Scotland’s canals’ identifies the importance of encouraging freight onto our canals. We look forward to working with companies in the future to maximise the role that our railways and waterways can play in freight transport.”

In addition to the 10 cross-border freight flows, which are jointly funded by the Department for Transport, the following wholly Scottish daily rail freight services will be supported this year:

  • An Eddie Stobart service which will remove 12,480 Tesco lorry trips from the roads between the Central Belt and Inverness (including a significant section of the A9), and
  • a DRS service which will remove 8,000 lorry trips from the roads between the Central Belt and Aberdeen.

The Scottish Government operates four freight mode shift grant schemes in total, all of which aim to enable companies to transport freight by rail or water rather than road without financial penalty.

Published 30 Apr 2013