The role of urban logistics is rising through the political agenda across local and national Government. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are due to air quality issues, road safety and rising land values, especially in major cities.

FTA is calling on Government to provide a clear roadmap of future changes with realistic adoption timescales so industry can invest with confidence in new technologies. Read our response to the recent Department for Transport’s Last Mile call for evidence here.

Our members take air quality issues very seriously and are keen to play their part in making the air we all breathe cleaner. FTA seeks a balanced approach to delivering air quality improvements; as well as clear and well-defined regulatory proposals, we need similar action to incentivise and support industry in its efforts to make this transition in the timescales envisaged.

Given that freight operators travel across the length and breadth of the country – moving from town to town, and city to city – we want to see a co-ordinated and consistent approach between local schemes to avoid a patchwork of programmes across the country that operate to different standards, timescales and administrative systems.

Whilst there are social impacts from vans and lorries, in terms of road safety and emissions, FTA regularly reminds elected representatives and policy makers of the massive social benefits our industry brings, supporting economies by servicing and supplying businesses and customers and providing employment opportunities.

Indeed, HGVs play a crucial role in the final mile across our urban centres. For example, in London over 360,000 tonnes of goods are delivered by lorries on average each day. That is 15,000 tonnes picked up or dropped off each hour if averaged over every hour in the year. This is the reality of last mile logistics.

The current landscape is changing rapidly, and the freight industry has often been asked to make significant changes to fleet operations, within challenging timescales and, frequently, at considerable cost. The industry will always find solutions to serve their customers, but it is much better if it is given sufficient time to arrange those solutions in a manner that does not result in unintended consequences that neutralise or work against desired policy objectives.

Our key messages to local and national Government:

  • National Government should provide a clear roadmap of future changes for urban logistics operators
  • We seek a balanced approach to delivering air quality improvements that supports and incentivises industry to make changes to their fleet and operations.
  • The logistics industry as a whole brings important economic and employment benefits
  • We want to see a co-ordinated and consistent approach between local schemes

Find out more

Contact Denise Beedell, Head of Vans and Urban at FTA

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