BRITAIN’S National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has recommended that there should be a ban on the sale of new diesel fuelled HGVs by 2040, to help the logistics sector become carbon free by 2050.
And the Freight Transport Association (FTA) reckons this is a feasible target, but is calling for the government to ensure infrastructure is in place to support alternatively fuelled vehicles.
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 we are also calling on the government to make the necessary investments in electrification or appropriate alternative fuel to enable rail services to move to a zero carbon future too.
‘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 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.’
However, the Road Haulage Association says the NIC recommendations are too simplistic and won’t inspire confidence.
‘The NIC’s report lacks a clear road map and makes assumptions about technologies and infrastructure that haven’t yet materialised,’ said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett. ‘Their recommendations fail to spell out how government should lead a realistic, supportive transition from diesel.
‘New technology is welcome, but it needs to be practical and affordable. A premature switch to zero emissions lorries would disproportionately impact small freight operators’.