Rail Minister hails corporate backing for efforts to shift freight off the roads and onto the rails
Tesco has officially launched a new £5m investment programme to support its plans to transfer a greater proportion of its distribution network away from road and on to the rail network.
The investment includes 500 new rail boxes and two new stacking machines with a particular focus on moving more freight by rail in the north east England especially.
The news, which was announced last week, was warmly welcomed by Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris. “I welcome Tesco’s £5m investment as they work towards becoming a zero-carbon business,” he said. “Rail freight plays a vital role in taking congestion off our roads and offering a cleaner, greener alternative for businesses, and it’s fantastic to see a major company wholeheartedly backing our railways.”
The launch took place at Tesco’s Daventry campus in Heaton-Harris’s own constituency, where the supermarket giant employs more than 1,200 people.
The increased rail service is set to replace 40 truck loads of road freight between Daventry and Middlesbrough per day. It will eventually save more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and remove over 3.9 million truck miles from the road.
Andrew Woolfenden, UK distribution director for the supermarket, said: “Tesco is the biggest retail user of rail in the UK and it’s the most efficient way of moving our goods quickly, so the benefits are practical for our business and for the environment.
“We were delighted to welcome the minister to Daventry to tell him about the far-reaching plans we have to increase our rail distribution and reduce our carbon emissions significantly.”