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London businesses need a freight commissioner, says Logistics UK


The next Mayor of London must appoint a dedicated Freight Commissioner if the capital’s businesses are to maximise their productivity and drive growth for the capital, according to business group Logistics UK.

“Logistics is one of London’s key economic sectors,” explains Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s Senior Policy Manager, “and has the potential to accelerate real benefits for the capital’s economy if its role is considered and supported by policy makers.  

“The capital’s 35,000 logistics businesses deliver everything London needs, every day, and the industry provides jobs for more than a quarter of a million Londoners – almost 5% of the city’s employees.  

“Yet the needs of the sector are often relegated to an afterthought once decisions on construction, manufacturing, infrastructure and even waste management have been made. 

“If London is to maintain its role as one of the world’s most dynamic, progressive cities, it is critical that logistics is considered as part of the wider plans for the capital’s future, and not viewed in isolation or simply as a mode of transport.  

“This is why our members – businesses from right across the supply chain – are keen to see the next Mayor create a role that secures logistics its rightful place within the London Plan, supports the industry to develop a pipeline of talent, and ensures the swift and efficient implementation of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy freight recommendations.” 

Logistics UK’s London Manifesto 

The call for a dedicated Freight Commissioner for the capital is part of Logistics UK’s London Manifesto, which was launched this week ahead of the upcoming Mayoral and London Assembly elections.  

As Yarsley continues, the ambition is that all candidates will adopt the proposals contained within the document to ensure that the impact of the logistics industry can be maximised for the benefit of all Londoners. 

“Logistics has a critical role to play in addressing the strategic opportunities and challenges facing London, to make it cleaner, safer and more prosperous and, ultimately, a better place to live and work.  

“When it is considered as part of wider economic development, logistics can and does drive real growth – our research has shown that, given the role it deserves, our sector would deliver up to £7.9 billion in UK productivity-led growth per year. 

“But to be able to achieve that level of growth, logistics businesses' needs and concerns need to be part of the bigger agenda for London’s Mayor and the city’s administration – not considered as an unnecessary afterthought.” 

Alongside the call for a London Freight Commissioner, Logistics UK’s manifesto includes calls to develop innovative and integrated infrastructure plans that will ensure goods are moved in the most productive, strategic and green manner. Logistics UK’s member businesses are keen to see investment in river crossings, as well as innovative solutions for major routes, kerbside access and home deliveries.  

At the same time, as Yarsley concludes, it is vital that London’s road safety standards are maintained – something which the logistics sector is fully committed to achieving: 

“Logistics businesses in the capital need to operate as safely and efficiently as possible, with the most vulnerable road users protected and innovation and education used to maximise the use of new ideas for operation.  

“At the same time, the industry is committed to a greener future for the capital, and a Freight Commissioner would help the sector achieve its goals by linking disparate areas of policymaking and identifying opportunities for all.  

“Our industry stands ready to deliver for London – our businesses deserve support at the highest level of local government to help us achieve this.” 

To see a full copy of Logistics UK’s London Manifesto, go to: https://logistics.org.uk/research-hub/policies/2024-london-manifesto  

*www.logistics.org.uk/campaigns     

Published On: 22/02/2024 14:00:00

 

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In brief

Port of Dover invites stakeholders to help shape its future

The Port of Dover launched a six-week public engagement period this week, to hear from local communities, visitors, port users and wider stakeholders on the ideas it should pursue on its journey to becoming the UK’s most ‘seamless, sustainable, and tech-enabled port’.  

Patterns and behaviours in travel, business, commerce and leisure are rapidly changing, driven by societal shifts, technological advances, economic change and our climate and environment – and the port is determined to adapt and remain a symbol of national trade resilience well into the future. 

“’Port of Dover 2050’ is our strategic masterplan project to help us understand the opportunities and challenges the port faces now and into the future, and the changes and potential investments we need to make over the long term,” said Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover. 

“With the launch of the public engagement period today, we are seeking to work with our many stakeholders to identify the best solutions; subsequently driving value for our business and employees, the local community and the regional and national economy – through economic, environmental and social benefits.  

“So far, through our online engagement hub, we've been delighted to hear from members of the public, community organisations, businesses and our employees about your memories and aspirations for the future of the port.  

“These have informed the possible outcomes and ideas for change we are now seeking your views on – and we can’t wait to hear from you during this next stage of the 2050 engagement journey.”  

To find out more, visit the Port of Dover 2050 online engagement hub.

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