Project: Freight Modal Choice Study: Phase 1 Conclusions

Reference: FLD401I

Last update: 12/04/2010 16:44:37


Identify cost effective, viable actions or options to help achieve further modal shift and to accommodate growth in flows, and to consider 'quick win', low cost opportunities as well as medium term, high cost options by:

a)Determining the key factors affecting decisions on modal choice and how to influence these decisions;

b)Identify which current flows, both domestic and international, on the road network have the greatest potential for modal shift to rail and water, including consideration of what commodities are moving where on the network, and the trip length (or length of haul) of these commodity movements.

c)Comment on the capacity and capability of the rail, inland waterway and/or coastal shipping networks and operations to accommodate these flows, including consideration of how to allow for growth and maintain the capacity and capability of the infrastructure to accommodate this growth, for the following years: a) 2007, b) 2014 c) 2019

d)Identify where additional mode shift could be delivered in a cost effective way if additional infrastructure capability and capacity were provided, specifying the key infrastructure concerned and the potential (high level) costs of doing so. This should include consideration of whether use of water can help alleviate congestion on the rail network

e)Draw together key practical or business barriers to accommodating growth and to the take up of the modal shift opportunities identified.

f)Identify cost effective, viable additional actions to address these barriers, including an initial analysis of the costs and benefits for each action. This could include a mix of practical factors (e.g. addressing the risks of supply chain reconfiguration, improving marketing and publicity) and potential Government actions, such as revenue funding (taking full account of potential legal or state aid barriers) and should consider:
i.traffic which could be using the rail and water network now and what actions could be sufficient to change modal choice in the near term
ii.potential 'quick win' low cost options (excluding publicly funded infrastructure options) which lead to changes in modal choice in the sort to medium term (2010 - 2019), at a national or local level; and
iii.a prioritised list of geographical locations on the 14 strategic national corridors where further study of medium term (2014 - 2019) or high cost options (including publicly funded infrastructure options) to facilitate further changes in modal choice is recommended.


The Freight Modal Choice Study aims to confirm the economic, social and environmental benefits of current freight movements by non-road modes on national network corridors and to identify where changes in future modal choice, from road to rail or water, could achieve appropriate outcomes on the network. This includes consideration of the capacity and capability of the national infrastructure to accommodate these changes in modal choice.

There are three deliverables to this project:

1. A detailed report covering each of the objectives (a) - (f) setting out in detail why the relevant conclusions have been reached and drawing on and cross-referencing the earlier study research and any additional evidence sources as appropriate.

2. A summary report suitable for publication (on the Department's website, or as part of a wider publication) hence containing no commercially confidential information which covers each of the objectives (a) - (f) and is accessible to freight customers, operators, Local Authorities, Regional Authorities and other non-specialists.

3. A summary report suitable for publication (on the Department's website, or as part of a wider publication) hence containing no commercially confidential information which draws together the information in the first summary report for each of the objectives (a) - (f) for international traffic only.


Lynnfield House, Chrurch Street , Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4DZ

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £109,390.00

Actual start date: 20 January 2010

Expected completion date: 31 March 2010