It seems like the government is always working to try and better the way that the freight sector functions. That’s why when they created the Future of Freight plan, it was considered to be a pretty impressive gesture.
The plan was designed to offer a sleek and refined way for freight to travel across the roads, seas, skies, canals and railways of the UK. As a prospective plan, it’s got a lot of merits, so let’s take a look.
Built to Innovate
The plan is clearly built with innovation in mind which is no bad thing, as it explains, rather elegantly, how a national freight network can be developed to remove the last barriers affecting the sector. The end goal was always to deliver a smooth, seamless flow of goods into the country.
This results in a call for evidence which will help to understand how the sector can, where possible, benefit from an easier approach regarding planning applications. The result is fewer obstacles that stand in the way of creating bigger warehouses for the sake of meeting customer demand.
Decarbonising the Sector
Naturally, the main goal of the government at the moment is to decarbonise the sector as much as possible. To accomplish this, the government is working directly with the industry to set up a freight energy forum. The goal of this forum will be to help create a clear path towards net zero emissions. Obviously, the forum will intend to assess and meet the needs of the freight sector regarding future energy and fuel consumption.
There is also government action intended to deal with the real shortage of HGV drivers. There is a scheme in place that intends to make 11,000 new drivers possible via a series of boot camps. This is run in conjunction with the increasing of HGV driving tests, and putting £52.5 million into the development of roadside facilities for lorry parking to incentivise more drivers.
New HGV drivers are not only taking their tests in record numbers, but also passing them. Between March and May 20 22, there were 29,384 HGV tests conducted. This was a 54% increase from the same period during 2019.
The scheme has clearly been designed to try and tackle some of the big problems that the freight sector deals with on a regular basis. This new scheme has the potential to deliver a lot of new HGV drivers, and provide people with a broad selection of different options. We need a seamless freight solution that covers all methods of transportation, and hopefully this new plan will deliver on that.
Obviously, it will take some time for the new plan to get implemented, but when it does, we can look forward to more HGV drivers, more facilities, and hopefully a greater infrastructure for the freight industry. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, and it will be interesting to see how it develops in the future.