Leading the way on behalf of the transport and logistics industry at the annual political party conferences this year, will be the Freight Transport Association (FTA) through their leadership of the Transport Hub and fringe events entitled ‘Getting Britain’s Cities Moving.’
As part of the 2013 Transport Hub programme, the FTA event will focus on how to improve the efficiency of freight deliveries in our urban spaces – a topic that has frequently been raised by FTA members and one on which that the Association has a keen focus. For a huge spectrum of FTA members urban issues means not only the headline grabbing issues of PCNs, congestion and cycle safety; but also gathering concerns such as the proliferation of planned Low Emission Zones, the concern of emotive rather than evidence-based policymaking and opportunities presented by the relaxation of lorry bans and night time deliveries.
Among the key issues to be included in this session will be:
• Recognising the contribution that logistics makes to local economies and its importance to consumers (no lorries = no food drink and other stock on shelves)
• Therefore we need to ensure efficient movement of lorries (ban lorries and there will be huge numbers of vans to compensate)
• Planning for deliveries – enough parking and loading/unloading facilities (minimise restrictions)
• PCNs – increased costs which just get passed on (eventually) to businesses and then consumers
• Air quality – Low Emission Zones for trucks sometimes seen as easy option but often wouldn’t solve the problem. Therefore need to think about alternative solutions
• Carbon – decisions about delivery routes and restrictions can impact on carbon emissions therefore transport planners nee to think carefully about how to minimise congestion and ensure "detours" are minimised
• Cycling – plans for sharing road space important but must not focus only on restricting lorries – all road users must learn to share road-space
• Recognising the real causes of congestion, and working with local government in particular to promote alternatives choices to the car, while recognising in many cases there is no alternative to the lorry.
Now a central part of the party conference landscape, the Transport Hub is a coalition of organisations from across the breadth of transport opinion, which showcase the key debates in transport policy – helping transport issues to get their fair share of the limelight in the rarified atmosphere of party conference.
Mike Webb, FTA Head of Public Affairs commented:
"Party conferences bring together so many of the key political, industry and media figures a campaigning organisation like FTA needs to talk to."
"It is a great place for discussing the key issues affecting our members, such as the varied challenges affecting not only logistics but all aspects of business and leisure transport in our cities – from the stock on the shelves to the office worker’s morning commute and the lessons which can be learned from the intense experience of last year’s Olympics."
Mr Webb added:
"We are looking forward to our vibrant panels from politics and industry and informed audiences providing three diverse, interesting and useful debates. We would heartily encourage you to get in touch and find out how you can get involved."
Over the three weeks in September; spread across the full length of the UK, the Transport Hub will host more than 30 events at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative conferences.
This year the scheduled Transport Hub events will once again include a diverse and interesting programme which brings together over 1,200 party members, transport professionals, journalists and politicians at the three main party annual conferences.
Joining forces with FTA to establish the 2013 Transport Hub are ABTA – The Travel Association, The All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group (APPLRG), British Parking Association, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK), Living Streets, The Light Rapid Transit Forum (LRTF) Sustainable Aviation (SA), and Sustrans.