At the Freight Transport Association's Freight Summit on 1 March, two important new innovations will be showcased, which are intended to improve the operation and management of freight deliveries.
The first of these is a new forum – the Freight Quality Partnership Network (FQPN) – based on the hugely successful Public Authority Transport Network (PATN) currently operated by FTA. The FQPN will be managed by Rob Roweth, the County HCV Route Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council and will give the opportunity to transport managers and local government transport planners to gather and share ideas and best practice about urban access and other freight issues.
Freight Quality Partnerships (FQPs) have been around for a decade – many have thrived but others could benefit from networking and other opportunities to understand how to tailor projects to fit local circumstances. A recent review of FQPs by FTA highlighted the benefits that have been enjoyed by the companies which have contributed to the development of local FQP partnerships.
Gordon Telling, FTA's Head of Policy for London, SE and East of England said, 'There is no doubt that firms engaging with their local FQPs have reaped the benefits of improved access conditions. However, for many firms, particularly smaller ones, the time taken away from the business to attend FQP meetings is often not feasible. The FQPN creates a means for those firms to access best practice via their inboxes.'
The Summit will also be demonstrating new technology from the Highways Agency, which is shortly to roll out its existing Internet Traffic Radio project onto a DAB, digital frequency. The project would make traffic information available 24/7 and would probably focus on freight issues between 10pm and 6am.
Gordon Telling said, 'This is a big step forward for putting important information into drivers' cabs to help them make informed decisions about routes and breaks. It will help to reduce congestion and the problems caused by slow-moving or stationary vehicles. It is disappointing that the product could not go out on an FM frequency, which would have made it instantly accessible to thousands of drivers, but it's a small step in the right direction.'