The Freight Transport Association has welcomed government plans to abandon the narrow focus of its congestion charging policy via the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) in favour of the Urban Challenge Fund (UCF).
The trade body is supportive of alternative initiatives to tackle congestion, improve safety and reduce carbon emissions, without costing the taxpayer too much or disrupting local businesses.
Councils hoping for money to invest in congestion-busting schemes courtesy of the UCF’s predecessor, the TIF, no longer have to introduce local road pricing to qualify.
Transport minister Paul Clark, who will be speaking on the subject at the FTA’s Urban Logistics Conference, has voiced his support.
Gordon Telling, the FTA’s head of Urban Logistics Policy, said: “As we have seen from the FTA’s previous studies; quiet night-time deliveries, for example, can dramatically reduce the impact commercial vehicles have on peak-time traffic and the environment as well as benefitting businesses with more reliable delivery times and lower transport costs.
“Similarly, better use of consolidation centres and better street planning through the Roadscape scheme, all represent excellent opportunities for local councils to make significant improvements without spending a significant slab of public cash.”
The FTA Urban Logistics Conference takes place on 10th March 2010.