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 which 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.

Sustainable Delivery

August 1: The Department for Transport has launched a consultation on sustainable ways to deliver goods as well as another consultation on urban mobility strategy .

This call for evidence will allow the Government to improve its understanding of the scale of opportunity as well as some of the current barriers to delivering goods more sustainably.

The call for evidence will explore:

  • How electrically powered e-vans, micro vehicles and e-cargo bikes can provide better service to customers for cargo in comparison to light commercial vehicles
  • The scale of the potential environmental and other benefits
  • The barriers to sustainable last mile delivery
  • What incentives might be appropriate to encourage a large-scale shift to clean, last-mile delivery options
  • Measures to improve logistical efficiency (eg urban consolidation centres / hubs)

The call for evidence builds on the government’s Road to Zero Strategy which forms an important part of government’s work on the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. This is considering how emerging technologies and services can be used to address a range of transport challenges.


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.