Stobart wins second rail contract with Tesco

Stobart has signed a £15m, five-year contract with Tesco to run a second rail freight service. The move is expected to replace more than 13,000 lorry journeys and reduce a potential of 1.79 million lorry miles per year.

Tony McElroy, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, tells CM that although rail transport costs approximately the same to operate as lorries, the rail service is "of course more environmentally friendly".

Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler says the first dedicated rail service launched in 2006 was "100% a success", while McElroy adds that Tesco would certainly consider using the rail method elsewhere in the UK.

Stobart was awarded a £525,000 Freight Facilities Grant by the Scottish government for the service to run from Grangemouth to Inverness, which will launch no later than September.

The Scottish government also offered funding of £457,600 through the Rail Environmental Benefits Procurement Scheme, which promotes rail over road.