FASTER DEVELOPMENT of rail freight terminals and park and ride stations was promised this week by a formal co-operation agreement between the Strategic Rail Authority and the Highways Agency.
It is hoped the memorandum of understanding will lead to the development of integrated transport projects and that it will control new rail franchises.
The agreement should also lead to an exchange of information on projected traffic growth, This should include the results of specific transport corridor studies and aid the transfer of more freight from road to rail.
Strategic Rail Authority chief executive Mike Grant said closer working between the SRA and the Agency would lead to greater integration on transport corridors over the next 12 months.
'It's very important that rail is given the right emphasis in the multi-modal studies, ' he said.
'The key is developing park and ride stations on the motorway network to relieve traffic congestion on routes into London.'
Roads minister Lord Whitty this week confirmed that a proposed trans-Pennine rail route from Liverpool to Hull was being assessed as part of the Government's 10 year plan. But he added: 'We have yet to see the draft report on the proposal.
Clearly, there is a need to create rail access to ports in the North West and connect Liverpool with the main network.'