Both the FTA and the RHA have welcomed the launch of the Scottish government’s rail strategy Delivering the Goods.

The strategy document makes the case for an increase in rail freight by shifting road freight onto the tracks. It also suggests tapping into new markets to counteract the declining rail freight volumes in the coal and steel sector.

Chris MacRea, FTA’s head of policy for Scotland, said: “It is vital that the challenges to rail freight in Scotland are recognised. Volumes have fallen with the demise of coal traffic and loss of steel.

"The biggest opportunity is intermodal traffic – both deep sea container export goods and domestic Anglo-Scottish traffic, including retailer.”

Martin Reid, RHA’s Scotland and Northern Ireland director, said: “The RHA supports an integrated transport network and some of our members operate multi-modally. We focus on efficiency, carbon reduction and addressing market failures.”

He added: “Efficient road haulage is and will remain an essential ingredient in attracting investment, whether deliveries are made by road only or partly by rail.”