The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is calling for evidence as it starts an investigation into how the infrastructure that supports the UK’s freight networks can be improved.
The NIC was asked to undertake the study by chancellor Philip Hammond at the last budget. The aim is to improve connectivity and reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.
The study aims to examine any constraints on freight movements, how demand might change, how carbon emissions might be reduced, and the impact of new technology.
NIC chair Sir John Armitt said: “Freight is important to everyday life. Businesses and consumers expect their finished goods and online purchases to get where they need to go on time, and our prosperity as a trading nation depends on having a reliable and well-planned freight infrastructure.
“The sector is a global success story and innovator in transporting goods by road, rail, sea and air, but it is not without impact. If we’re going to tackle tough issues like congestion and air quality, freight must be part of the solution.
“Developments such as platooning connected HGVs and the growth of electric vehicles are set to transform freight, so we need to consider all the options.
“The evidence we gather will help determine how we ensure the freight sector supports the UK’s long-term prosperity.”
The deadline for submissions is March 5, 2018.