Freight Study: stakeholder reactions

Published: 16 Apr 2019



Lorries on a busy UK motorway

Stakeholders have reacted to the new report Better Delivery: the challenge for freight:

“Air quality and climate change are two of the key issues facing us as a society today and banning diesel HGVs would be a positive step forward in tackling both of these problems. Government needs to take decisive action to phase out polluting technologies and put the infrastructure in place for greener alternatives.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region (one of five ‘freight cities’ working with the Commission)

“The UK’s major ports very much welcome the National Infrastructure Commission delivering a report on the freight sector. Freight is the essential lifeblood of our economy, bringing the goods we all need to our shops and front doors. Yet the freight industry has too often been overlooked by policy makers – a victim of its highly efficient success. The recommendations on better factoring freight into long-term transport and planning thinking are absolutely essential and very welcome. We look forward to working with the Commission, government and industry to ensure these recommendations lead to real change.”

Tim Morris, Chief Executive, UK Major Ports Group

“The changes recommended by the NIC report could be transformative for decarbonising logistics in the UK, providing that assistance is provided for the operators charged with delivering the nation’s needs to help the switch from carbon-based fuels. Change is already taking place within the logistics sector to adopt new forms of fuels and vehicles, but in order to implement such swift and radical change, government support for alternatively fuelled vehicles, as well as the necessary infrastructure to service them, is vital. Operators cannot magic new vehicles out of thin air, and there are attendant costs involved in switching. What is clear is that Britain needs our sector to deliver 4.1m tonnes of goods every day of the year to every corner of the country, from central London to the Highlands of Scotland in a wide range of vehicles appropriate to the job. There must be support for our industry if changes are to be made, since UK PLC cannot survive without the support of the logistics sector.”

Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy, Freight Transport Association

“We welcome the opportunity to participate in the Commission’s work on freight and deliveries. The city’s residents and businesses rely on the timely delivery of goods and produce, but in a busy, constrained and historic city like Brighton & Hove this can present problems in some corridors and areas of the city. This can include causing congestion, parking on pavements or large vehicles using unsuitable routes to reach or leave destinations. Working with the Commission on testing ideas and solutions to reduce the need or impact of such journeys will help tackle congestion, reduce emissions and improve everybody’s quality of life.”

Mark Prior, Assistant Director, Transport, Brighton & Hove City Council (‘freight city’)

“The movement of freight plays a significant and valuable role in the life of Southampton. As a port city and a gateway to goods arriving from around the world, Southampton City Council welcomes the focus the National Infrastructure Commission places on the needs of the freight industry and its value to the wider national economy. We support the call to government to give clear direction to the industry and to work with city’s such as ours as we strive to reduce carbon emissions, address congestion, improve local air quality and support sustainable growth.”

Denise Edghill, Associate Director, Economic Development and Skills, Southampton City Council (‘freight city’)

“Reading the debate about how we’re going to tackle the carbon and air quality impacts of road traffic it would be easy to miss the implications for goods traffic amongst the reams being written about the private car.

“But the Chancellor of the Exchequer was absolutely right to commission this report, which recognises the importance of road transit in our logistics framework. The simple fact is that if we want supplies to reach manufacturers, have goods in our shops and see deliveries to our homes then they are going to have to be carried somehow.

“Whilst 2040 might seem like a long way off, we agree with the NIC that the time to start rethinking our logistics options to capitalise on emerging technologies is right now.”

Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation

“Freight and logistics are vital to economic activity and development in the West Midlands, it supports people and businesses in their daily activities, ranging from deliveries to homes and shops through transferring goods to and from factories or getting supplies to offices. The region is going through an unprecedented period of growth and change – HS2 will arrive in Birmingham in 2026 and there are 400,000 more people expected to be living here by 2030.

There are many challenges to the effective movement of freight in the region and issues such as poor air quality and wider congestion problems, require the need for a change in distribution methods used by the freight sector and local government responses to the problems. Being at the heart of the UK’s transport network and at the forefront of transport innovation, the West Midlands would like to be a beacon for best practice in urban logistics management. As part of our Transport Strategy, Movement for Growth we have a supporting Freight Strategy and Implementation plan to help us work together with local authorities, businesses and key stakeholders to develop a collaborative approach to developing new solutions.

TfWM welcomes the publication of the National Infrastructure Commissions Freight Study ‘Better Delivery: the challenge for freight’ and we are looking forward to working with the NIC and partners on developing new approaches to urban freight as one of the ‘Freight Plan Areas’.”

David Harris, Transport Strategy and Place Manager, Transport for West Midlands

“The NIC’s report is warmly welcomed by us as we look to achieve our ambition for a zero carbon transport system by 2050. Freight and logistics is the lifeblood of our economy and will be at the heart of the transport strategy for the Heartland. Delivering transformational levels of economic growth while achieving net gain for our environment will require a combination of investment in infrastructure, innovation and regulatory changes. We look to build on the NIC’s work in developing the detail of our transport strategy.”

Martin Tugwell, programme director, England’s Economic Heartland

“We are excited about the recommendations in this study. The younger generations of today have grown up in a world of on-demand, same-day deliveries to their doorsteps for a vast range of products, but they also want to see a reduction in the harmful emissions and congestion caused by our unrivalled freight services. The recommendations from this study will target these important issues, ensuring future generations continue to benefit from world-class freight services without damaging our environment and clogging our transport networks.”

Spokesperson, National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel

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