Government sets out plan to boost logistics

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The Department for Transport has set out its plans to support the logistics industry in a new review: “The Logistics Growth Review – Connecting People with Goods”.

It has pulled together all the measures it is taking on transport, including:

*£1bn investment in the most growth-critical roads.

* Securing commercial funding for sustainable logistics development projects. Round 1 of the Regional Growth Fund is expected to enable around £210m total investment in logistics and manufacturing projects.

* An investment of £55m for the Strategic Rail Freight Network allowing delivery of schemes that remove bottlenecks and improve capability and longer term connectivity to the UK’s major ports.

* The Department for Transport is exploring with Transport Scotland, the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association how to broker agreement across a group of businesses and local authorities in England and Scotland to trial the temporary use of snow ploughs attached to certain types of heavy duty vehicles to help clear important routes between key distribution centres and the strategic road network. Where necessary, ministers will consider relaxing certain weights and dimensions legislation to facilitate this.

* The government will consider the requirement for further guidance on quiet night time deliveries.

* The government is launching an industry-led task force to promote use of fuel efficient, low emission road freight technologies. One of the task force’s major objectives will be to broker engagement between industry, Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities on trialling and implementing measures that support the use of low emission technologies and behaviours at minimal burden to the industry.

* The government will continue to resist the draft EU proposal to impose a 4m height limit on heavy goods vehicles.

* The government announced on 11 October 2011 that it will carry out a trial of up to 1,800 longer semi-trailers, starting in January 2012.

* The government says it wants to influence the EU to adopt a simplified regime for drivers’ hours and working time.

*  The government wants to allow an increase in the time required between tachograph data downloads, meaning businesses would only have to download every 90 days (the EU minimum) rather than the 56 days at present.

* The government is working with Traffic Commissioners to find administrative efficiencies in the operator licensing regime.

* The government is re-examining its interpretation of exemptions from driver CPC which could free up some sectors, such as farmers, from the statutory requirements of 35 hours’ periodic training every five years.
* The government intends to consult on the speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads next year.

* The government will be providing £4m of funding to Skills for Logistics to, in conjunction with major trade bodies and others, establish new and innovative approaches to training to increase the economic competitiveness and subsequent productivity of the sector. Key elements of the work include:
* The government is making available £8m capital funding to pump prime procurement of low emission HGV technologies and their supporting infrastructure.

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