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Freight Transport Association demands winter preparedness as Scotland counts cost of gridlock

A single HGV stranded in the snow can cost businesses around £400 a day, warns leading trade body Freight Transport Association (FTA) as more snow is expected to hit Scotland early next week.

Chris MacRae, FTA’s Head of Policy for Scotland, said:
"The running costs of a stranded HGV are very high to vehicle operators, and the knock-on impact of aborted commercial deliveries to businesses and, of course, consumers make this cost far more significant. At one point tankers were unable to deliver fuel to filling stations so the situation was certainly grave.

"It is too early to put a figure on the cost of disruption, but with reports that hauliers have been unable to collect or return containers, including news that whisky suppliers had to close, the winter weather has wrought a heavy cost to Scotland’s economy. With more snow predicted we need to make sure the cost isn’t allowed to get even greater."

FTA – which called for and secured from the Department for Transport a relaxation of drivers’ hours rules earlier this week, to help truckers remain legal in the face of horrendously protracted journeys – has been working with Scottish government to give an accurate picture of the severe weather crisis that has brought much of Scotland to a standstill.

MacRae concluded:
"Weather reports suggest that there will be a window of opportunity over the weekend to begin catching up on supply chain delays, but we are already weeks behind! We have had concerns from members that key motorways were not gritted, we need to ensure that this situation is not repeated. Our message to government right now is that we need to ensure that we are prepared if severe conditions return next week."

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