Andy Bagnall, Rail Partners chief executive

Rail Partners response to Spring Budget fuel duty freeze

Responding to the Spring Budget, Andy Bagnall, chief executive for Rail Partners, said:

‘While the 14th consecutive year of fuel duty being frozen will be welcome news for motorists and lorry drivers, rail freight businesses continue to see rising costs, and rail passengers have seen fares rise by 4.8%.  

‘Britain has a legally binding target to meet net zero by 2050, and the budget today does nothing to encourage people and companies to make more sustainable transport choices and choose rail over road.

‘In order to decarbonise our transport sector government must take a more holistic approach to make sure rail freight can be competitive on price with road haulage and that the costs of passenger transport modes reflect their environmental impact.’

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

  • Rail Partners’ report, ‘Freight Britain: An engine for green growth’ is available here:   
  • Rail freight contributes £2.45bn in benefits to the UK economy. You will find more information on the value of rail freight to Britain in Freight Expectations: How rail freight can support Britain's economy and environment
  • Freight access charges on certain rail freight flows have increased in nominal terms by 105% (bulk) and 80% (intermodal) since 2010. As set out by the OBR the main rate of fuel duty was cut by one penny at Budget 2011 to 57.95 pence per litre, was frozen since then, and has been temporarily reduced by 5 pence per litre in 2022-23 and 2023-24. 
  • Rail Partners’ Manifesto for Rail is available here. The manifesto is underpinned by research in the Rail Partners report, Track to Growth: Creating a dynamic railway for passengers and the economy, which includes economic analysis of Britain’s railways under franchising, and a comparative study of rail competition across Europe 
  • For more information, please contact

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    Rail Partners exists to make the railway better by harnessing the expertise and creativity of private sector operators for the benefit of those who use the railway, passengers and freight customers, and those who pay for it, including taxpayers.