Road transport sector must focus on sustainability and efficiency

01 November 2012 #SMMT News
  • 72% of consumers want to see a cleaner, more efficient road transport sector
  • Transport industry calls for reductions in fuel duty and government investment in  training

According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Commercial Vehicle Forum 2012, cutting costs, greater efficiency and a keen focus on education are key to long term sustainability.

The survey found that 72% of general respondents and 67% of those involved in the transport industry agreed that commercial vehicles should be used more efficiently to lower carbon emissions and ensure the ongoing profitability of the sector. While the majority of the general public think that consolidating trips would be the most efficient way forward (37%), transport professionals believe in introducing longer trucks (39%) and developing more efficient engines (37%).

While the greatest concern for the future within the transport industry remains the cost of fuel (48%) and maintaining profitability (31%), many transport professionals are also concerned that a poor perception of the industry has led to difficulties in recruiting staff (19%). Indeed 58% of those surveyed consider that introducing more apprenticeships would be highly valuable in terms of generating the technological advances needed to increase the efficiency of the sector.

The question of support from UK government unsurprisingly focused on reducing costs, with 71% asking for a reduction in fuel duty, 35% agreeing with the taxation of foreign vehicles and introduction of road tolls and 25% calling for better road building and rest facilities.

“Commercial vehicles play an important role in the UK economy, with 90% of raw materials and finished products being delivered by road,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive and CV Show Partner. “Through developing skills and enhancing vehicle technologies, we’re committed to making the industry increasingly efficient and more sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”

Geoff Dunning, RHA Chief Executive said, “The UK is under great pressure to play its part in responding to climate change and the road freight sector is under particular scrutiny by Government. Reducing CO2 goes hand in hand with saving fuel, so operators are doing what they can to reduce both costs and emissions. Beyond that, there is no doubt that alternative fuels will play a key part in the process”.

The survey was undertaken for the Commercial Vehicle Forum 2012, an event which will take place at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London on 15 November 2012. Chaired by broadcaster Simon Jack, the Forum’s key theme is innovation and specifically future sustainability, skills and safety. Panellists will include Rob Flello MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Freight Group and Robert Gifford, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

The Commercial Vehicle Forum 2012 is supported by AA Drivetech, Bridgestone UK, Brigade Electronics, Greenchem Solutions, Isuzu Truck (UK) and Squarell Technology.

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