FTA critical of Birmingham pollution reduction plans

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has released a broadly critical response to Birmingham City Council’s vehicle pollution reduction draft Transport Plan. As ever the association favours large numbers of diesel trucks over electric alternatives, avoiding the issues around fossil fuel emissions impacting the public at large.

Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for the Midlands at FTA, commented:  

“As the business organisation representing the UK logistics sector, FTA is calling on Birmingham City Council to reconsider its plans to impose restrictions upon freight vehicles entering the city during the daytime. While some goods can shift from being delivered in the day to the night-time, most are dependent on when the goods are ready or when customers are available to receive them – for example, fresh goods for sale that day and ‘just in time’ deliveries to meet urgent needs. 

“However, it is encouraging to note that Birmingham City Council has acknowledged the vital role the logistics sector plays in ensuring the city centre remains an attractive place for people to live, work and visit. None of this would be possible without commercial vehicles having access to the city to supply the offices, shops, schools, medical and leisure facilities that residents demand and use. FTA supports the Council’s aim to reduce the volume of private cars in the city; the proposals will ensure that the vehicles that truly must have access to the city – including many freight vehicles – benefit from more reliable and sustainable journeys.” 

“FTA remains sceptical of the Council’s decision to encourage businesses to increase their use of e-cargo bikes for last mile deliveries. The reality is that one medium sized lorry – driven by one driver – can do the work of 100 e-cargo bikes. In the opinion of our members, this proposal does not provide the most effective way to reduce pollution and congestion in the city centre. FTA is also sceptical of the role a consolidation centre could play in reducing the number of commercial vehicles entering the city centre, given the varied nature of goods that are required within Birmingham and the unique needs of each business served.”

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