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Release ID: 5306

FTA calls for level headed approach on longer semi-trailers

The Freight Transport Association has called on the government to take a level headed view on longer semi-trailers on the day its consultation closes and asked it not be swayed by emotive language and unsubstantiated claims by stakeholders wanting to derail the proposals.

FTA’s own research suggests that high volume semi-trailers will deliver both efficiency and carbon savings for companies through the cutting of vehicle mileage. Not all sectors will migrate to these vehicles - it will mostly benefit those businesses such as retailers, parcel companies and manufacturers of high volume, low weight products where existing 13.6 metre semi-trailers become full before they reach their gross weight.

Simon Chapman, FTA's Chief Economist, said:

"All the evidence we have had from our members has reinforced FTA’s view that high volume semi-trailers are good for the environment and good for business. For high volume, low density loads, the extra deck space offers improved productivity and fewer vehicle journeys.

"High volume semi-trailers would also have a positive effect on road safety, with overall hgv mileage reduced and the potential for operators to specify the latest on-road safety technology and mirrors for vehicles."

The proposals for high volume semi-trailers are an important way in which the government is supporting industry’s own efforts to decarbonise its supply chains and reflects FTA’s argument that government effort needs to focus on working with industry rather than imposing regulation and taxation on it as a way of cutting carbon emissions.

Chapman concluded:

“The vehicles being considered are no longer than drawbar trailer combinations already on the road, and the proposals are not a stalking horse for increased hgv weights in the UK.”

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