Freight News, Rail

A rail freight line to Scotland? We did not sign up for this, says DfT

[ June 16, 2014   //   ]

The UK Government is challenging an EU regulation that it says requires it spend money developing a rail freight corridor to Scotland. The Department for Transport has asked the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) to annul an amendment in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which obliges London to invest in railway lines in north of London, saying that it did not agree to them and that they are not supported by market or socio-economic benefit analysis and should be subject to UK Government approval.

In a letter to the Rail Freight Forum,  Department for Transport senior policy advisor Deborah Phelan, said: “The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Regulation which was adopted in December included an Annex amending the Annex to Regulation 913/2010 concerning a European rail network for competitive freight. The effect in the UK of that amendment was not only to incorporate the UK into the former Corridor 2 (renamed North Sea Mediterranean) but also to require that Corridor to be extended to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton and Felixstowe by November 2018.

“The UK has now submitted a legal challenge to the CEF regulation in respect of the Rail Freight Corridor (RFC) extensions in Annex II of CEF, specifically the extensions in the UK past London, and is seeking their annulment.”

The letter stressed though that DfT is not seeking to annul the whole of the CEF regulation or the funding provisions for the Trans-European Networks, which it supports, adding: “It does not seek the UK’s removal from the RFC North Sea Mediterranean, but for this to end at London as we were already negotiating with our partners in the RFC and the Commission. We remain committed to the extension of the Corridor to London and to participating fully in the governance of the Corridor.


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