FWD member collectively operate over 7,000 delivery vehicles which make over 200,000 deliveries every week to small businesses in every postcode of the UK.
This distribution chain for food and drink is a vital supply line to millions of people, a fact that successive governments have recognised by asking FWD to sit on Defra's Food Chain Emergency Liaison Group, which tests resilience planning for potential scenarios such as food and fuel shortages, extreme weather and industrial action.
Ultra Low Emission Zones
The Mayor of London and other city authorities are looking at improving air quality in city centres by banning older diesel-engined vehicles. The introduction of Ultra Low Emission Zones is supported by FWD members but the timeframe for phasing out older vehicles must be considered carefully, as making vehicles redundant before the end of their intended lifespan will have severe cost implications for distributors. This in turn affects their ability to provide a competitve service to the thousands of small businesses they supply and support within the proposed exclusion zones.
Deliveries to shops and restaurants in busy towns and cities keep these businesses afloat, but they can be disruptive. FWD members seek to abide by parking restrictions and delivery hours and work with local authorities to minimise their impact.
FWD is currently monitoring possible changes to parking regulations following a recent consultation, and is contributing to the debate on Ultra Low Emission Zones, which could see older diesel-engined delivery vehicles banned from some city centres by 2020.