The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has responded to the publication of the new Birmingham Connected – Moving Our City Forward government whitepaper and has claimed that while the document does outline several benefits for the city, it also throws up a lot of questions.
Unveiled by Sir Albert Bore and secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin, the document aims to provide a long-term vision for how transport network improvements in Birmingham and the surrounding area can deliver a more sustainable economic recovery for the region as a whole.
It suggests the use of new technology to manage all shapes and sizes of freight to use the right part of the network at the right time, while also encouraging improved levels of education surrounding traffic flows and transport network management.
However, FTA policy manager for the Midlands Sally Gilson argued: "FTA believes that the Birmingham Connected Action Plan leaves more questions than answers regarding freight movements.
"Whilst it is positive that the movement of goods is being viewed as a priority in the Birmingham Connected Action Plan, and prioritising freight during off peak times is a step in the right direction, it is during the peak times that freight has issues."
Overall, FTA claims the paper recognises the importance of the UK logistics industry to developing a stronger economy for Birmingham and the surrounding area, but it fails to provide the level of detail needed to make this goal a reality in the years ahead.
As a result, Ms Gilson concluded further consultation is now required to develop a concise and detailed plan for Birmingham's transport network future and this is a process she stated the FTA would be happy to be a part of.
Posted on 17th November 2014
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