Leaving London’s roads without repairs and maintenance for the next two years could have catastrophic effects on the ability of the capital’s businesses to keep everyone supplied with the goods and services they need, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
The Association, which represents more than 16.000 of the UK’s logistics businesses, says the Mayor’s announcement of a freeze on non-essential road repairs could cause damage and delays which will have a disastrous impact on the capital’s ongoing financial profitability.
The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, has announced that all non-essential road improvements in the Capital have been paused for two years, due to a shortage of funds. She warned this could lead to increased disruption, with more road closures and possible speed, size and weight restrictions.
As the only membership organisation which represents the entire logistics sector, FTA is says it is absolutely vital these measures do not have an impact on the transport of goods around the capital.
FTA’s Head of Urban Policy, Natalie Chapman said:
“London cannot function if its roads do not work. It takes 400 thousand tonnes of goods every day to keep the Capital working. But the cost of transporting these keeps increasing as congestion gets worse and restrictions on commercial vehicles are extended, with the introduction of the new Direct Vision Standard and Ultra-Low Emission Zone. Now we are told non-essential road maintenance is to be abandoned for two years, this is bad news for costs, congestion, emissions and safety.
“Whatever the reason for this announcement, Transport for London must appreciate the importance of ensuring London’s roads can carry vital deliveries such as food, medical supplies and building materials. The suggestion that size or weight restrictions might be introduced, due to a lack of maintenance is entirely unacceptable.”
According to Transport for London figures, the routes affected are some of the busiest in the city. While TfL maintains only 5% of London’s roads, they carry up to 30% of the traffic.
Ms Chapman went on to say:
“Central government needs to do far more to ensure our major roads are properly maintained and improved to carry freight movements. That is why FTA supports government’s plans for a new Major Road Network, providing ring-fenced funding for some of the nation’s busiest and most important local authority routes. This is vital to ensure the success of our logistics industry and to keep Britain trading. We also call on the Mayor of London to look urgently at his funding priorities to ensure freight services to the Capital not disrupted.”
Efficient logistics are vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than eight million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.
A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.