The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the launch today (Wednesday 9 January) of Transport for London's eagerly awaited London Freight Plan, to build on industry best practice, improve deliveries and further reduce environmental impacts. Hot on the heels of industry's own London Freight Manifesto, the Freight Plan sets out key steps to harness the world-class business practices of leading freight companies, whilst improving service to customers and businesses and helping deliver the Mayor's climate change agenda.
The plan includes measures to improve the use of the Thames for freight, measures to focus enforcement on rogue operators instead of the whole industry and initiatives to encourage deliveries in the off-peak, thus further reducing freight's already small contribution to congestion.
The Plan will also develop tools to help operators reduce unnecessary costs by giving better guidance on delivery compliance as well as identifying and promoting significant incentives for operators who are investing in low carbon vehicles and operating practices.
Another key element – in line with ongoing industry initiatives to improve road safety – are measures to further reduce the number of Londoners killed or seriously injured in collisions with commercial vehicles.
Kevin Pritchett, Chairman of the Greater London Freight Council said, 'The Freight Transport Association and its members are delighted to see today's launch of the London Freight Plan. FTA has been pressing for the development of a strategic plan for some time and it is heartening to see how co-operation between FTA and TfL can yield results in this way. There are many challenges ahead in the delivery of the Plan but we will continue to work together to create a sustainable freight sector for the benefit of Londoners and the businesses that the freight industry serves.'
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said, 'London's success, and future growth, is dependent upon the efficient movement of goods around the city.
'We need to improve the efficiency of the freight sector whilst also reducing the environmental and social impacts of freight transport on London, particularly our contribution to climate change. Achieving sustainable freight distribution in London will make a real and positive contribution to improving the lives of those who live, work and visit London.'
David Brown, Managing Director for Surface Transport, Transport for London said, 'This plan helps London address the challenges it faces in ensuring the efficient, safe, timely and sustainable movement of goods and materials across the city, helping to minimise impact on the environment.
'We need to understand the needs of the freight industry and consumers and ensure that best practice is spread across all areas.'
Gordon Telling, FTA's Head of Policy for London, South East & East of England said, 'We are pleased that the Freight Plan has finally emerged after a long period of gestation. In the light of the enormous transport challenges that London faces as a World City, FTA led early calls for such a plan to be produced. We have supported the project as a critical friend throughout its development to make sure that it is a plan that industry can embrace.
'I am particularly pleased that alongside the development of the formal plan, we have spent the past eighteen months consolidating and developing open and constructive relationships with all parts of TfL.'