Letter: Hidden cost of goods that travel too far

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The Independent Online
Sir: Little has been said about using rail piggyback services to get the juggernauts off the roads.

Now that we have the Channel Tunnel, and with proposals to upgrade the West Coast line (the extra cost to accommodate piggyback traffic is put at pounds 100m only) trailers could move on rail cars from places such as Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool to Milan and other European centres. The system has been used for years from French ports. With the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) coming on stream in a few years' time consideration should be given also to the piggyback traffic using the East Coast line, via Stratford, designated as a CTRL terminal.

All this was postulated by the Labour Party years ago, when John Prescott was shadow transport secretary, in a paper called Moving Britain into Europe - A High-Speed future for Transport.

DONALD DAVIES

London EC4

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