Freight transport cannot be ignored, says FTA Ireland
Monday 31 December 2012
FTA Ireland has said that the importance of freight transport must be recognised and an expected population growth in the Greater Dublin Area planned for if the demand for goods and services is to continue to be met in the future.
The Greater Dublin Area has an ageing transport infrastructure and a population which is expected to grow by nearly 40 per cent in the period up to 2030, and the growth in demand for goods and services which this increase will cause must be planned for in order that shops, businesses and industry can continue to be supplied and serviced effectively. Dublin Port’s ambitious plans to double its capacity by 2030 will bring much needed business to Ireland, but unless this growth is anticipated and catered for, economic growth will be hampered.
However, the National Transport Authority (NTA), which was set up in 2009, published the Greater Dublin Area Draft Transport Strategy 2011-2030, a 204 page paper which contains only three pages specifically on the subject of freight transport, and a 2010 survey of commercial vehicle freight managers was not a true reflection of the sector as 79% of those interviewed operated vans, not heavy goods vehicles.
Restrictions on the movement of five-axled vehicles in the city centre between 7am and 7pm are frustrating for freight operators, and result in a high number of smaller vehicles making inner city deliveries which clogs up the roads. The system for applying for permits is cumbersome, and a more streamlined system for regular users is desperately needed.
The frustration at the lack of importance being placed on the role of freight transport is felt by FTA Ireland, which is determined not to let the matter rest, saying that 'freight can not be ignored' and on behalf of its members the Association is determined to continue its campaign to raise awareness of the vital role of the logistics industry.
Declan McKeon, FTA Ireland's Head of Policy said:
"Recognising the importance of freight transport may not be a top priority for government agencies, but it is essential if the Greater Dublin Area, and Ireland as a whole, is to thrive in the future. Insufficient emphasis is being placed on the importance of freight transport, because it is not given the recognition it deserves by the public and the easy option is to ignore it or place restrictions on vehicle movements.
"FTA Ireland and its members have a vast amount of experience and knowledge of the freight industry, which they are anxious to share with the authorities in order to plan for the future and make the most of the opportunities it offers. It is vital that we all work together to achieve this."
NTA had previously interviewed some FTA Ireland members in order to better understand the movement of freight with a view to conducting a freight survey. They were impressed with the industry's technology, planning of freight movements and how innovative the companies were, but no survey was ever published.
FTA Press Office