Rail Minister Tom Harris used the Rail Freight 2007 conference to announce the award of £44M of new freight grants.
The grants are for carrying freight by rail rather than by road and mean the equivalent of more than 2.1m lorry journeys and 631M lorry kilometres will be removed from Britain's roads over the next three years. Harris said: 'I am pleased to announce today that we have awarded £44M in funding over the next three years for the movement of freight on rail through the Rail Environmental Benefit Procurement Scheme (REPS). 'Our aim is to secure a major shift of goods from road onto rail. This will make a significant contribution towards reducing road congestion, accidents and carbon emissions. 'We will continue to provide financial support for rail freight where it is affordable and where it offers the greatest benefits when assessed alongside support for other modes. There is funding available and I would like to encourage the industry to get involved and make the best use of it.' The next bid round for REPS closes on 15 June.