Tarmac funded to move more freight to rail

The Scottish Government has allocated 1.49 million British pounds (1.72 million euros) to Tarmac in a Freight Facilities Grant (FFG). The grant, part of a funding initiative that has been dormant, will make possible significant development at their site in Dunbar, on the Scottish east coast.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson announced the funding at an industry event today, 4 March.

Commercial and environmental benefits

Chris Swan, Head of Rail at Tarmac and a speaker at next month’s RailFreight Summit UK in Salford, said there were commercial and environmental benefits.“We are delighted to receive this funding from Transport Scotland, which supports our commitment to developing our rail offering, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality”.

The FFG fund, which is open to companies seeking to move freight by the more sustainable modes of rail or water, instead of road, will be used towards expanding rail operations at the Dunbar cement plant.

Key mode of transport

Announcing the award, Matheson said Tarmac is a key user of rail and strong advocate for the industry.
“I am delighted to award funding from our Freight Facilities Grant to Tarmac towards expanding its Dunbar facility. This award is the first Freight Facilities Grant for rail for a number of years and will help ensure that rail remains the key mode of transport for much of Tarmac’s operations”.

Tarmac’s Dunbar facility is a familiar sight on the East Coast Main Line (geographaUK)

The facility at Dunbar is connected directly to the East Coast Main Line, between London and Edinburgh. The recently published National Transport Strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for a sustainable and accessible transport system. It encourages businesses to make sustainable choices to support the reliable delivery of goods and services.

Rail distribution capabilities

“We are leading the way in support for rail freight with clear policy support, innovative regulatory targets to encourage growth and backing this with general investment and specific funding”, said the minister. “Our dedicated £25 million Rail Freight Fund and our Mode Shift Grant support schemes, which include the Freight Facilities Grant, will help to unlock opportunities for rail freight across the country”.

Chris Swan is Tarmac Head of Rail

Chris Swan of Tarmac concluded that the grant would benefit operations and environmental challenges far beyond Scotland. “The enhanced rail distribution capabilities at our Dunbar cement plant will support our commitment to transporting as much product as possible on the rail network and not the roads, providing essential construction materials to infrastructure projects both within Scotland and beyond.”

The debate continues at RailFreight Summit UK

Is enough being done to encourage the potential of the sector? That’s on the agenda as the RailFreight Summit comes to the UK for the first time. The RailFreight Summit UK takes place on 7 April in Manchester, Britain’s fastest-growing regional economy and an industrial hub, where rail plays a vital role in supporting development and enterprise. Registration for this event is now open. For more information you can visit the website.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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