FTA calls for new government to "help not hinder" freight industry

Highways Reporters

The Freight Transport Association says the next government must support logistics businesses to enable them to reduce vehicle emissions and cope with the transition to Clean Air Zone regulations.

It's launched what it calls its General Election Manifesto saying this support must also help develop the market in alternatively fuelled vehicles, rather than simply imposing heavy taxes on diesel owners, which will, "crush economic growth and drive up prices throughout the economy".

“Business, including the logistics sector, has made significant improvements in its environmental impacts in recent years,” says Christopher Snelling, Head of National Policy at FTA, “but there is more work to be done.  It is vital that the next UK government continues to help and support freight and logistics operators as they work to comply with the latest Clean Air Zone regulations, and should not be using the industry as a sector for a problem which is the responsibility of all.  There is no environmental purpose to increasing diesel duty on vans and lorries, as unlike diesel car drivers, operators of these vehicles currently have no realistic alternative.

“FTA members are also calling on the next government to take one simple step to boost economic performance:  research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has shown that the introduction of a 3p per litre reduction in fuel duty would boost the economy and be revenue neutral for the Government, since rises in other tax receipts would offset losses on fuel duty, and the resulting additional spending would reinvigorate the economy.”

The FTA says the UK’s logistics sector contributes more than £121 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK’s economy, which equates to 11% of the UK’s non-financial business economy.  With an annual turnover of £1 trillion, and employing more than 2.5 million people nationwide, the freight industry has a key role to play in the UK’s future growth and, as Snelling continues, FTA’s manifesto outlines the asks of its 16,000 members, which they believe will ensure their future business efficiency:

“Trade with the EU currently represents 48% of the UK’s exports of goods, and has a vital part to play in the ensuring continued national prosperity.  FTA’s Manifesto outlines the key criteria which our members need the next government to consider, so that trade can continue in a frictionless, barrier-free environment.”

Among FTA’s other key Manifesto requests are:

  • Free access for the UK freight and logistics industry to the EU market post-Brexit

  • Government assistance in forcing new trade deals with leading and emerging economic powers

  • Increased investment in public infrastructure, both road and rail

  • Reduction of infrastructure costs associated with rail transport and protection for water freight access, to enable shippers to diversify their transport options

Full details of the FTA’s manifesto can be found at www.fta.co.uk.
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