The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said recently that the proposal within the governments Roads Command Paper ‘Action for Roads’ will offer real opportunities for freight operators.
The Department for Transport (DfT) launched the Roads Command Paper which outlines the new arrangements for the Highways Agency, and includes proposals of a system that FTA has long argued for in order to provide greater accountability for services provided on UK roads.
FTA has said that it is "pleased that the Paper includes commitment to providing certain funding, and that the needs of the freight industry must be included as part of those changes. The Association also stated that there was a definite need for a ‘Champion’ of roads – who considers the needs of freight and not just those of motorists."
The Command Paper states that the new company will be wholly owned by the government (a move which is in line with recommendations made to government last year in the Cook Report), and builds on the announcement made following the Spending Round (Investing in Britain’s Future). It also sets out more details concerning the reforms to the Highways Agency, and outlines support for local roads and changes to improve roads for cyclists and local communities.
FTA understands that measures are designed to provide opportunities to recruit staff in a better way to ‘drive-in’ efficiencies in order to provide a long term funding structure for the strategic road network.
Karen Dee, FTA Director of Policy said:
"FTA welcomes the proposals put forward in the Roads Command Paper and believes that these will offer good opportunities to deliver a system which means greater accountability for the services provided on our roads, and additionally it should supply greater certainty of funding.
Ms Dee added:
Moving forward it is vital to have a method in place which enables the industry to monitor the new company in its meeting performance – in order to create confidence. FTA also recognises that the proposals could deliver enormous benefits to our members and that there is a definite need for a ‘Champion’ for road users who will consider the needs of freight and not just those of the motorist."