Freight industry opposes peak time restrictions

The FTA believes the restriction of goods vehicles in city centres during peak traffic times will not improve road safety.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) in the UK has responded to the Prime Minister, David Cameron’s reaction to the proposal for banning lorries in city centres during peak hours. According to the FTA, this isn’t the correct way of protecting vulnerable road users.

The Prime Minister told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling that he would ask the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin to investigate the possibilities of several measures to improve cyclist safety, including possible HGV bans.

Reacting to this, the FTA’s head of urban logistics, Christopher Snelling said, “Even a medium-sized lorry would have to be replaced with 10 vans – which means overall safety would not be improved, let alone the emissions and congestion consequences. It has to be remembered that we don’t choose to deliver at peak times on a whim – our customers need goods at the start of the working day.”

The FTA has written to the PM on the issue of cycling safety and is having ongoing discussions with the Transport Secretary and Department for Transport officials over the best ways to improve safety for all road users while preserving efficiency.

Christopher Snelling continued, “What we are looking at is the safety of everyone. For example, while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the pedestrian peak is later. Forcing deliveries outside morning peak would interact with another group of vulnerable road users.”

A number of measures and actions have been put forward by the FTA that it believes represents a better approach to making busy city roads safer, including targeted enforcement against non-compliant HGV operators, improvements to road infrastructure, commitment from tipper vehicle operators to working to the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standard, incentives to improve lorry visibility, easing night-time restrictions on deliveries and improving safety standards originating from the Department for Transport (DfT).

In conclusion, Mr Snelling added: “All road users have a role to play in improving road safety. Better awareness, training and behaviour is needed on all sides to make our roads as safe as they can be. Things can improve and the number of HGVs involved in fatalities in the UK has halved in the last 12 years, which shows the success of the progressive approach to improving safety.”

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