HC Deb 03 February 1993 vol 218 c218W
Mr. Adley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has undertaken into the environmental effects of freight travelling by(a) road and (b) rail; and how these are taken into consideration as investment criteria when allocating funds in new transport projects.

Mr. Freeman

Research carried out by the Department into the environmental effects of freight travelling by road includes the "Lorries in the Community" study, undertaken by the Department in association with the Civic Trust and the County Surveyors Society, and the lorry management study, from which the resulting guidance was published in 1990.

The means by which environmental considerations are taken into account in the Department's investment appraisal procedures are explained in the Department's publication "The role of investment appraisal in road and rail transport" (1991).

The Government pay freight facilities grants to encourage private companies to use rail in cases where there are wider environmental and other benefits. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State yesterday announced substantial enhancements to this scheme, together with a new scheme, similar in concept, to contribute towards track charges for freight flows which would otherwise travel by road.

These measures, together with our proposal for a lorry weight concession for combined transport—on which we shall be consulting widely—will help to encourage wider use of intermodal rail freight services.