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The Freight Transport Association FTA welcome government plans to abandon congestion charging policy

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) 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.

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