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Plans for rail freight link at port

A rail freight link could be provided direct to Dover docks
A rail freight link could be provided direct to Dover docks

Goods by train going along the M20 corridor could go directly onto Dover ferries following a development scheme.

But port bosses have warned that it is not enough to cope with the amount of freight coming through the port.

Dover Harbour Board says that it is making provision for a rail freight connection in its planned development of a second ferry terminal at Dover Western Docks.

A planning application could be made later this year.

But spokesman Keith Southey says that as the port has up to 5,000 lorry movements a day in Dover, this could only be a "marginal alternative" to road freight.

He said: "The Port of Dover believes that all viable solutions should be considered to reduce congestion on the roads.

"However, currently 88 per cent of inland freight movement is by road and even the most optimistic views of a shift to rail will have little impact on that.

"On mainland Europe where the rail infrastructure is more highly developed and accessible than the UK still 82 per cent of freight is by road.

"There is no denying that the only way to achieve significant congestion reduction on our roads is to invest in a road-improvement programme for the UK’s major strategic routes.

"That means road widening and where necessary road building."

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