Letter: Rail by road S

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The Independent Online
Sir: The practice of transporting trains by road (Letters, 11, 13 December) predates privatisation and has nothing to do with access charges imposed by Railtrack. It is intrinsically linked to the lack of a level playing field in transport costs.

As a result of rail privatisation, for the first time in nearly half a century the real costs of using the network, including external costs such as policing and environmental management, are now known and are passed on to train and freight operating companies. If the price of hauling a train by road included external elements such as environmental clean-up, traffic policing and a contribution towards the cost of congestion to business, rail might be the more cost-effective option.

MIKE GIBSON

London E15

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