The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has published its Future of Freight interim report, which warns of the need to put strategies in place to tackle the dangers of congestion and carbon emissions.
In its role of providing expert advice to the government on the infrastructure challenges facing the UK, the NIC’s Future of Freight interim report urges Whitehall and local authorities to provide better support so that goods and services can be delivered while at the same time, reducing congestion and carbon emissions.
The industry has taken steps to meet emissions targets but the NIC doesn’t believe the issue can be solved by the industry alone.
Indeed, the Future of Freight interim report has found that, without action, the freight industry’s contribution to congestion and carbon emissions will remain a problem.
To counter this harm to society, the NIC want to see greater technological advancements, clear long-term targets put in place, and a wholly more coordinated approach within the different tiers of government.
These steps are crucial to getting things right.
Freight is the lifeblood of the UK’s economy, working all year round, boasting one of the world’s most efficient freight systems.
Harmful emissions are still created though, despite the improvements made; together, HGVs and LGVs constitute 21% of the total vehicle mileage in the UK, but are responsible for 31% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
The report therefore highlights the need for local and central government to take the needs of freight operators into account, but use better regulation to ensure reduced carbon emissions and congestion.
Sir John Armitt, the Commission’s Chairman, said: “Our freight industry is one of the best in the world, but the incentives aren’t there to drive down its carbon footprint sufficiently quickly. It needs action from Whitehall and Town Halls to make that happen.”