Transport and Distribution

FWD members collectively operate over 7,000 delivery vehicles which make over 200,000 deliveries every week to small businesses in every postcode of the UK. FWD is therefore closely involved in policy discussions around transport, logistics and distribution around the UK.

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 contributed to the debate on Ultra Low Emission Zones, which could see older diesel-engine delivery vehicles banned from some city centres by 2020.

Clean Air Strategy

The Government has produced a draft Clean Air Strategy and is consulting on it, closing on the 14th August.

The draft Clean Air Strategy 2018 sets out actions to improve air quality by reducing pollution from a wide range of sources. As the Strategy affects a broad range of sectors and touches on the interests of many, the Government is seeking views on the actions being proposed to reduce air pollution and its effects. The responses received will inform the final UK Clean Air Strategy and detailed National Air Pollution Control Programme to be published by March 2019.

Impact on wholesale:

The Government has published Road to Zero, a strategy for reducing exhaust emissions from road vehicles. This, together with the UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, sets out the Government’s approach to addressing exhaust emissions from road transport.

Proposed actions on road transport:

  • The Government will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. Positioning the UK as the best place in the world to develop, manufacture and use zero exhaust emissions vehicles and, during the transition, ensuring that the cleanest conventional vehicles are driven on our roads.
  • The Government work with international partners to research and develop new standards for tyres and brakes to enable us to address toxic non-exhaust emissions of microplastics from vehicles which can pollute air and water.
  • New legislation will enable the Transport Secretary to compel manufacturers to recall vehicles and machinery for any failures in their emissions control system, and environmental nonconformity or failure, and make tampering with an emissions control system a legal offence.


Over three times as much freight is moved by road as by rail and water combined; so the Government recognises that in the short-to-medium term it would not be possible for that traffic to be accommodated on other modes. Nonetheless, the proposed freight mode-shift grants help remove in excess of 800,000 lorry journeys a year from Britain’s roads. Taking further action to reduce freight emissions, the Government will support industry research:

  • Support industry research into rail freight emissions and air quality to enable better comparisons with HGV emissions, to understand how a shift from road to rail can best be used to deliver a reduction in emissions of air pollutants.
  • Develop and deploy cost-effective options for shifting more freight from road to rail, including low emission rail freight for delivery into urban areas with zero emission last mile deliveries.

July 5:

The Environment Food and Rural Affairs; Environmental Audit; Health and Social Care; and Transport Committees have published the Government’s response to their joint report on improving air quality.

The Government’s response says it will introduce new primary legislation for action to tackle air pollution. This includes a new statutory framework for Clean Air Zones (CAZs) to create a single approach cover- ing all sources of air pollution. The response puts a strong emphasis on the role of local authorities on air pollution and CAZs. The Government says local authorities should assess the impact a local plan could have on businesses, as well as a clear commitment to help local authorities support businesses impactedby local air quality plans. The response says that where a local authority identi es a charging CAZ as themost effective measure for delivering compliance, not all CAZs will involve charging all motorists. As part of their feasibility studies, local authorities will determine which vehicles will be affected, likely to include freight.


Road to Zero

The Government has published its Road to Zero strategy, which sets out next steps towards cleaner road transport and delivering the Industrial Strategy.

There was a heavy focus on electric vehicle infrastructure and putting the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles.

There were however a number of significant announcements that are of relevance to FWD, as set out below:

The Government will be:

  • Consulting on reforming Vehicle Excise Duty to incentivise van drivers to make the cleanest choices when purchasing a new van.
  • Setting up a new Road Transport Emissions Advice Group, bringing government, industry and consumer groups together to help ensure clear and consistent consumer messaging and advice on fuel and technology choices.
  • Reducing emissions from heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and road freight by:
  • Introducing a new voluntary industry-supported commitment to reduce HGV greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2025, from 2015 levels.
  • Launching a joint research project with Highways England to identify and assess zero emission technologies suitable for HGV traffic on the UK road network.
  • Working with industry to develop an ultra-low emission standard for trucks.
  • Undertaking further emissions testing of the latest natural gas HGVs to gather evidence that will inform decisions on future government policy and support for natural gas as a potential near-term, lower emission fuel for HGVs.

We will keep an eye on the upcoming consultation on reforming Vehicle Excise Duty and further information on the voluntary industry commitment to reduce HGV greenhouse gas emissions and on the development of the ultra-low emission standard.