The Government is expected to make major announcements on transport this week as the Department for Transport gives its detailed spending plans and its response to last year's Eddington Report.
The Freight Transport Association has compiled a list of the top ten short-term requirements which the Government could, and should, act on in order to contribute to increased transport efficiency, reduced carbon footprint and overall benefit to the economy and the environment.
FTA Policy Director James Hookham said, 'We were disappointed by the Chancellor's statements regarding the Pre-Budget Report and the Comprehensive Spending Review earlier this month, and their relative lack of substance regarding transport issues. We now look to the forthcoming publication of Government papers on road, rail and ports in order to make up for this lack of detail. Freight transport is of vital importance to all of us and the Government needs to provide an operating environment which reduces inefficiency and promotes confidence in the future.'
FTA calls for action on the following:
Increased hard shoulder running on motorways in order to achieve quick gains in trade route capacity – replication of the successful experiment on the M42.
Delivery curfews – encouragement from central Government for local authorities to, where appropriate, remove night delivery bans and allow goods vehicles to work and deliver out of hours.
Create a registration and charge scheme for foreign lorries operating on UK roads.
Outsource to the private sector some of the services provided by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
Break the link between the way fuel duty is charged on private cars and commercial vehicles.
Authorise and fund gauge enhancement of key rail freight routes serving UK ports.
Authorise and encourage the sharing of bus lanes with commercial vehicles
Take actions to re-establish an adequate network of truck stops, providing security for vehicles, loads and drivers and allowing drivers to take statutory breaks and rest periods.
Create a fast-tracking process for accredited UK container shipments through US security screening.
Authorise road trials for longer and heavier lorries to establish their benefits and impacts.
FTA says that the list constitutes measures relatively simple to introduce, with low level investment, in order to achieve quick wins for both the Government and the transport industry.