Grant funding to transport freight by rail and water

Rail freight Carlisle

Taking freight off congested roads and moving it by rail or water can sometimes be more expensive than road transportation. Freight grants are designed to facilitate the purchase of the environmental and social benefits that result from using rail or water transport. The Department for Transport runs two schemes that encourage the use of rail or water transport instead of road transport: the Mode Shift Revenue Support scheme and the Waterborne Freight Grant scheme. Budgets for the operating grants for future years are £20m for 2011-12, £19m for 2012-13, with a further indicative £19m for both 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) scheme

Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) scheme (formerly the Rail Environmental Benefit Procurement Scheme) assists companies with the operating costs associated with running rail freight transport instead of road (where rail is more expensive than road). It is designed to facilitate and support modal shift, generating environmental and wider social benefits from reduced lorry journeys on Britain’s roads. Since September 2009 this scheme has also been open to inland waterway traffic.

Waterborne Freight Grant (WFG) scheme

The Waterborne Freight Grant (WFG) scheme assists companies with the operating costs, for up to three years, associated with running water freight transport instead of road (where water is more expensive than road).

Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) scheme

The Freight Facilities Grant (FFg) scheme in England officially closed in January 2011. Whilst funding will no longer be provided to new schemes, DfT will continue to monitor the performance of past schemes, with a view to ensuring the benefits as anticipated at the time of applying, are delivered.

Environmental benefits of a mode shift

The environmental benefits are calculated by working out how many lorry journeys will be removed by transporting freight by rail or water.