Blog > December 2016

Keep Santa's sleigh moving

It occurred to me that not many freight businesses, be they on land, sea or air, would have a great deal of use for leaping lords or piping pipers and that large numbers of swans a-swimming could actually be a hazard to water traffic. On that basis I decided to compile my own personal selection of twelve festive gifts for the transport and logistics sector:

1. From future historians, a description of how, in 2017, Britain inaugurated its first fully integrated national transport policy since the Romans.

2. From the CBI, an instruction to members to make sure delivery drivers are treated like human beings and given access to toilet, washing and cafe facilities on their premises.

3. From everyone involved in the sector, large or small, a firm and clear list of priorities for the Brexit talks to make sure the right decisions are made to enable this vital part of the economy to flourish.

4. From the National Infrastructure Commission, to give its backing to the GB Freight Route scheme, allowing lorries to carry goods all over the country on drive-on, drive-off trains, if The Grinch doesn't hike access charges of course.

5. For employers, unions, Department for Transport, Department for Education and the Department for Employment and Learning to work together to promote careers in the freight industry before the recruitment time bomb goes off in everyone’s face.

6. From all UK airports, to put forward their schemes for expansion and promote them through local planning processes so we get the right runways in the right places rather than waiting decades for development at Heathrow.

7. From the Department of Transport, to think again about All Lane Running and to consider Smart Motorways as a more effective option which doesn’t put motorists, and recovery drivers in particular, at serious avoidable risk.

8. From the Brexit ministers, a guarantee that the EU Port Services Regulation will never be enshrined in UK law. Not enacting it at all will save the time-consuming heartache of waiting for it to be incorporated into Mrs May’s Great Repeal Bill.

9. From the motor industry the resurrection of the wonderful and long-missed Bedford truck, the vehicle still unsurpassed in so many ways, into a 21st century model.

10. From the Department of Transport (and I know I’ve already asked for stuff from them but they do hold the key to most of the really good gifts), a genuine commitment to promoting Britain’s shockingly under-exploited inland waterways and coastal waters for the movement of goods.

11. From Transport for London, an admission that squeezing HGVs into smaller and smaller areas of road to make room for cycles is contributing to the capital’s gridlock and pollution and impacting any attempts to be pro-freight.

12. From Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, recognition that freight represents a massive 5% of GDP, that all industries and communities depend on it for their daily needs and that he really ought to bear its importance in mind when he takes crucial decisions.

None of these things will bother Santa one bit as the Master of Magical Logistics, but if he can stuff one or two of them into the appropriate stockings, I'm sure we’ll all have a happier New Year.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 22/12/2016 14:11:38 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

Freight Carbon Review

As 2016 draws to a close, FTA awaits the Department for Transport's Freight Carbon Review response. Earlier this year, Government conducted an in-depth study into how the freight sector can contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 2032. FTA was heavily involved in the review and submitted a detailed response to officials which relied on crucial evidence from the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme. The scheme shows that year on year, companies that join the LCRS perform better when it comes to carbon reduction than industry as a whole. We look forward to seeing the recommendations from Government and hope that we can continue to work with the Department on boosting opportunities for freight to decarbonise.

Funding for greener trucks

The Low Carbon Truck Trial drew to a close this year and we await the final report from the trial which will examine the results and conclude what carbon savings were made from utilising gas and used cooking oil in trucks. The trial supported thirteen projects helping to fund over 350 trucks and around 20 refuelling stations.
In order to invest in greener fuels and technologies our sector needs support due to higher costs and lack of infrastructure. In early 2017, we will see the announcement of winning applications for grants from a 24 million fund for low emission logistics projects.

New Government Emissions Reduction Plan

We await a new Emissions Reduction Plan from Government by the end of the year. This will replace the Carbon Plan of 2011. This plan covers every sector and all Government departments and brings together policy thinking on how the UK will meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. It will certainly make interesting reading and will give us a good indication of what is expected from the freight sector.


FTA continues to promote the LCRS supported by Industry Partner: Bridgestone UK Ltd. It is a free voluntary initiative to record, report and reduce carbon emissions. If you have not already joined, find out more.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 06/12/2016 14:03:47 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments