Abandoning c-charging will pave way for better schemes, says FTA

Wednesday 03 March 2010

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed government plans to abandon the narrow focus of its congestion charging policy via the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) in favour of the Urban Challenge Fund (UCF). The leading trade body is supportive of alternative initiatives to tackle congestion, improve safety and reduce carbon emissions, without simultaneously costing the taxpayer a small fortune or disrupting local businesses.

Councils hoping for money to invest in congestion busting schemes courtesy of the UCF’s predecessor, the TIF, no longer have to introduce local road pricing to qualify. Transport Minister Paul Clark, who will be speaking on the subject at FTA’s Urban Logistics Conference next Wednesday, has already voiced his support for this overhaul.

Gordon Telling, FTA’s Head of Urban Logistics Policy, said:

“We look forward to hearing more from Mr Clark at our Urban Logistics Conference on precisely what he thinks about more intelligent, lower-cost solutions to reduce congestion.

“As we have seen from FTA’s previous studies; quiet night-time deliveries, for example, can dramatically reduce the impact commercial vehicles have on peak-time traffic and the environment as well as benefitting businesses with more reliable delivery times and lower transport costs. Similarly, better use of consolidation centres and better street planning through the Roadscape scheme, all represent excellent opportunities for local councils to make significant improvements without spending a significant slab of public cash.”

The FTA Urban Logistics Conference takes place on 10 March 2010 at One Great George Street, London SW1. Call the FTA Member Service Centre on 08717 11 22 22 for registration or further information.

Notes for editors

1. Transport minister Paul Clark will be the keynote speaker at the FTA’s annual Urban Logistics Conference, which takes place in London on 10 March.

Mr Clark will discuss the launch of the Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme, a joint project between FTA, the Noise Abatement Society and the Department for Transport which aims to promote the consideration of out-of-hours deliveries by local authorities and the relaxation of delivery curfews. He will also discuss the importance of Freight Quality Partnerships.

Local authority staff can register for a special price of £99 plus VAT, which is by arrangement with the Department for Transport. The cost for FTA members is £315 + VAT for the first delegate and £265 + VAT for subsequent delegates; for non members £375 + VAT for the first delegate and £335 + VAT for subsequent delegates.

Limited free press places are available - for further details please call Jackie Langridge on 01892 552253 or email jlangridge@fta.co.uk

2. The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (PMSU) report on urban transport and the DfT response “The Future of Urban Transport” published in November 2009 identified a range of transport challenges faced by our cities. It estimated the cost of congestion, in delays and unreliability suffered by road users, to be of the order of £12 billion a year. The PMSU report also indicated that the measurable costs to society of poor air quality, inactivity leading to obesity and road accidents in urban areas are each similar to those of congestion. 


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