TRANSPORT NEWS: Haulage chief urges rethink on lorry policy

Politicians should start to plan for the lorry rather than against it, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) suggested this week.

FTA chief executive Richard Turner told an Institution of Civil Engineers conference on congestion charging that the 1980s notion of "bash a lorry, win a vote" is outdated and must be "kicked into touch". According to the FTA, only one in 50 vehicles on the road is a lorry.

"Politicians and planners need to recognise the true value of the lorry and construct policies that make life easier for operators and drivers," said Turner. "Goods have to be delivered and we should try to make it easier and cheaper to do so - not more complicated and expensive."

Turner criticised London mayor Ken Livingstone for refusing to exempt essential goods deliveries from the capital's congestion charge. He also rounded on the Green Party for suggesting that lorries should be charged £15 rather than £5. The Conservatives came under fire for suggesting that lorries be banned in London for part of the morning.

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