The Mineral Products Association (MPA), representing producers of the aggregates and cement that are transported by rail, has supported calls from the Rail Freight Group to resolve their differences ahead off announced strike days.
Construction materials are one of the biggest flows of rail freight on the network, with rail connecting quarries in places such as the Peak District, Leicestershire and the Mendips with their markets in major cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. Each aggregates freight train takes around 76 lorries off the road, saving carbon and reducing congestion and noise, while supplying essential materials.
The pattern of strike days has been designed to cause maximum disruption and will potentially cause backlogs at our members’ sites and shortages at depots in cities. MPA welcomes the acknowledgement of freight in statements by Network Rail and DfT, especially in the light of our sector’s essential status as recognised by Government.
Nigel Jackson, chief Executive of MPA said:
“Our members use rail freight extensively, and would like to use it more in the future. This strike threatens disruption that to the flow of essential materials and damages confidence. I urge the RMT, Network Rail and Government to get together and find a solution to avoid this completely unnecessary damage to our industry and the wider economy.”
About the Mineral Products Association:
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the merger of British Precast, and affiliation of the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, the Cement Admixtures Assocation (CAA), CONSTRUCT, Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the UK Quality Ash Association (UKQAA), it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement and lime production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2018, the industry supplied £16 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £172 billion in 2018. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors.
For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Clements at: Elizabeth.Clements@mineralproducts.org