Leading business organisations FTA (Freight Transport Association), the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses are all calling for the Mayor of London to appoint a dedicated Freight Commissioner to support the implementation of his newly launched transport strategy.
Reacting to the publication of Sadiq Khan’s Freight Action Plan released today, the group is calling for political leadership to ensure his freight policies, including Vision Zero and the ultra-low emission agenda, are implemented holistically and consistently across London’s 33 boroughs.
Speaking about it, Natalie Chapman, Head of South of England and Urban Policy at FTA, the business group representing the interests of the logistics sector, commented: “As a thriving city, London depends on reliable and efficient logistics to deliver the goods and services businesses need to operate. The logistics sector is more than willing to support the Mayor of London in his vision to make London’s roads cleaner and safer, but we need the political leadership and support to do so; there is an urgent need for a strong voice to champion freight transport and its particular interests and concerns across London.”
The hope is that a Freight Commissioner would ensure that schemes are rolled-out consistently across all of London’s boroughs, meaning easier regulation for any newly implemented initiatives and would result in a more reliable service.
Sean McKee, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) added: “Freight plays a vital, but not always appreciated, role in our everyday lives – from the stocking of our shelves to delivering raw materials to construction sites, to supporting industries such as housebuilding.
“As London heads towards ‘megacity’ status over 10 million citizens by 2030, the demands on the capital’s transport network, and of its residents and businesses for services and supplies, have never been greater. Because of this, LCCI argue that freight should be given greater prominence in London’s strategic plans going forward.”
Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, mirrored these comments: “We urge the Mayor to give Freight parity of esteem with other forms of transportation by giving an expert in the field of freight a Commissioner status.”
The TfL Freight Action Plan can be viewed on the TfL website at: https://tfl.gov.uk/