“Information is key to keep the freight and logistics industry on the move during extreme weather conditions” – is the message from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and added that transport resilience plays a vital part to aid a successful economy.
Responding to the ‘Transport Resilience Review’ published by the Department for Transport (DfT) today, the Association has said that it has had concerns on the resilience of transport networks for some time, given the changing climate and increased trend of severe weather events and that keeping transport and logistics operators informed is vital.
All modes of freight operations require a reliable network that ensure that journeys have the least disruption as possible and the Association says that we all have a role to play when these extreme events happen.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA Head of Road Network Management Policy said:
“FTA has been involved with the Highways Agency for a number of years looking at how information can be fed to the logistics industry to ensure there is an awareness of what may be rapidly developing situations which affect the networks and particularly vulnerable vehicles in these circumstances. The Association looks forward to continuing that and developing work with the Agency and others, and welcomes the recommendations made in the Transport Resilience review.”
Within the FTA submission to the Review panel the need for resilience planning on the transport network was emphasised, and the recommendations contained within the Review acknowledge that, as does the DfT and the Treasury benchmark funding ratios to inform future transport spending to both national network operators and local highway authorities.
The Review stated that it is important that to for extreme weather conditions and that measures should be taken to ensure that transport networks are as well prepared as they can be to minimise the impact of extreme weather events. It also recognised that local highway authorities need to identify a resilient network which they give a high priority to during dangerous weather and need to ensure that they respond to formal reviews on how their network and key services respond to extreme events.
The Association added that it is also pleased to see that the Review refers to the importance of the local road network that connects the UK major ports and interchanges to the strategic networks.
Mr Bingham added:
“Without robust infrastructure to make these vital connections the logistics industry will still suffer from reliance shortfalls as the lifelines of industry are severed due to lack of planning for reliance at this level.”
It is hoped that going forward we can move away from the legacy of Victorian civil engineering building that has been relied upon for so long by using modern preventive and predictive techniques to assist in asset maintenance planning.