New diesel HGV ban feasible with government support, says FTA

A ban on the sale of new diesel HGVs by 2040 is a feasible target for the logistics industry if appropriate support is given, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA). Reacting to the launch of today’s (17 April 2019) report by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), the association, which represents the interests of more than 17,000 businesses in the logistics industry, is calling for the government to ensure infrastructure is in place to support alternatively-fuelled vehicles before acting upon this recommendation.

Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy at FTA, commented: “The logistics sector is more than willing to make the permanent switch away from carbon-based fuels, but the government must first ensure the infrastructure and funding is in place to support this. FTA is calling for the government to make the necessary investments into alternatively-fuelled vehicles before acting upon the NIC’s recommendation to ban the sale of new diesel HGVs by 2040.

“Similarly, FTA is calling on government to make the necessary investments in electrification or appropriate alternative fuel to enable rail services to move to a zero-carbon-future. FTA is very concerned about how the recommendation to consider road-based alternatives to busy rail corridors will be taken-forward. Rail already delivers greener logistics while relieving congestion on Britain’s road network.”

Snelling continued: “Britain needs the logistics industry to deliver 4.1m tonnes of goods every day of the year to every corner of the country, from central London to the Highlands of Scotland in a wide range of vehicles appropriate to the job. There must be support for our industry if changes are to be made, since UK PLC cannot survive without the support of the logistics sector. While gradual change is already taking place within the logistics sector – operators have been moving to new forms of fuels and vehicles for some time – to implement such swift change requires an equally radical government investment. After all, operators cannot magic new vehicles out of thin air.”