A public consultation has launched on a new draft Freight and Logistics Strategy for the North of England, which outlines opportunities and challenges ahead for the sector and necessary action to decarbonise the industry.
The draft strategy, developed by Transport for the North (TfN), showcases the importance of the sector in moving goods efficiently to drive economic recovery and growth in the region. The North is the destination or starting point for 25% of GB freight.
In addition to the need for the decarbonisation of the freight and logistics sector, TfN’s strategy outlines challenges and constraints faced by the industry. The region faces a shortage of warehouse capacity, especially rail-connected capacity, and struggles with east-west connectivity across the Pennines. The North of England is also disproportionately reliant on ports in the South.
In their draft strategy, TfN have set out a delivery plan and recommendations for the sector, reflecting demand for freight and the objectives of last year’s Transport Decarbonisation Strategy in reducing the sector’s environmental impact and optimising economic benefits of green technology.
Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said:
“The freight and logistics sector is vital in helping us all get the things we need to go about our daily lives. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the EU brought this into sharp focus, so now is the perfect time for the North of England to set out a strategy on how we can best support and enable the movement of goods around our region.
“Our Freight & Logistics Strategy, which covers road, rail and waterway freight, reveals the data that drives the sector; identifies the options for decarbonising freight; and sets out the importance of the sector to enabling ambitious growth for businesses.
“It’s an important piece of work, and we urge everyone to get involved in the consultation – not just those who work in the sector, but members of the general public and business community too. Getting goods to our homes and workplaces efficiently, reliably and in a sustainable way is only going to get more important in the coming years, so it’s essential we hear from many voices now to help set us on the right journey for our future needs.”
The public consultation will run until 31st January, via a virtual consultation room accessed here. A free webinar will also take place on Wednesday 12th January from 12pm-1pm, where TfN will host a panel discussion on the draft strategy with leaders in the transport, freight and logistics sectors.