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.

Government plans

The Treasury has launched a consultation on Red Diesel and other rebated fuels.

Updated 05.05.21

Drivers’ hours

FWD is lobbying for an extension of drivers’ hours until the end of June to help with driver issues some members are currently experiencing. We have been talking to Defra and the Department for Transport at a senior official level about a temporary extension and officials say there is a “reasonable chance of exten- sion”, although the bar is quite high on relaxing drivers’ hours rules due to considerations of road safety. We are also calling for drivers to be added to the Government’s Shortage Occupation List to allow drivers from the EU to come and work in the UK.

Members are reporting that the chronic shortage of drivers has created a backlog of orders as well a supplier shortages. Demand for drivers has exceeded expectation due to the easing of some lockdown measures which has created high demand in other sectors including non-essential retail alongside demand from the reopening of hospitality. Other factors include EU Exit reducing supply of drivers, IR35 regulations and the continuation of furlough.


Red Diesel:

The 2021 Budget has confirmed that temperature-controlled hauliers will not be entitled to use red diesel in fridges from April 2022. FWD argued for a delay in the implementation of this measure to 2025, and we continue to press for support for businesses that have to absorb these costs and fund transition to more expensive equipment. Government consulted on the possibility of further exemptions from the ban on use of red diesel which meant there was a possibility TRUs could be exempted. However, the HM Treasury say “the case for continued entitlement was not compelling enough to outweigh the Government’s long-term environmental objectives and the need for the tax system to incentivise the development of greener alter- natives to polluting fuels”, and no exemption will be granted.

Tyre ban

The Government has announced a ban on tyres over 10 years old on all HGVs and heavy trailers, which will apply to tyres fitted to the front axle of HGVs. Re-treaded tyres will be subject to the same restrictions as first-life tyres, where the date of re-treading will be used to determine the age of the tyre. The policy will come into force after a 3-month implementation period, at the end of which vehicles will be expected to be fully compliant.



Clean Air Strategy:

January 14: The Government published its Clean Air Strategy, a cross-departmental frameworks which sets out actions to improve air quality by reducing pollution from a wide range of sources. The report reiterated the Government’s pledge to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040.


The Clean Air Strategy  has the following implications for FWD wholesalers:


  • The Transport Secretary will have the powers, from new legislation, to force manufactures to recall vehicles and non-road mobile machinery for any failures in their emissions control system, and to take effective action against tampering with vehicle emissions control systems.
  • The Government will attempt to develop a new standard for tyres and breaks to address toxic non-exhaust particulate emissions from vehicles which include micro plastics and can pollute air and water.
  • The Government will aim to encourage the use of the cleanest modes of transport for freight and passengers, including active travel.
  • The cost of Red diesel is being reviewed by the Government and the Treasury to ensure that its lower price is not disincentivising the transition to cleaner alternatives.

The strategy notes that analysis shows that the actions set out in this strategy can meet the Government’s ambitious emissions reduction targets, if they are implemented with the necessary pace and determination. The Government also claims that these improve on current EU rules.

Sustainable Delivery

The Department of Transport launched a on consultation on sustainable ways to deliver goods as well as another consultation on urban mobility strategy 

The Government’s ambition is to see ultra-low emission vans to represent 40% of all new vans purchased by 2030, and that by 2040 zero emission vans should represent 100% of new vans purchased. However, registrations of ULEV vans represent less than 0.5% of all new van registrations.


Last Mile

Key points from the Last Mile consultation:

  • The hope is that the Plug-in Van Grant will help bridge the cost gap between ULEV vans and internal combustion engine vans. The Government cut the Plug-in Car Grant by £1,000, however, this did not affect the Plug-in Van Grant.
  • The Government expects to see van purchase prices fall in the coming years as battery prices continue to fall.
  • According to the Government, manufactures have scheduled the launch of a number of new ULEV cans and trucks, including medium and large vans, they also have since Summer 2018 increased the weight limit of electric vans from 3.5t to 4.24t.
  • In response to charging infrastructure and the energy network, the Government will be considering an extension to the Workplace Charging Scheme entitlement from 20 sockets per company to 20 sockets per site.

The Government has pledged to collaborate with the industry in the coming years to help the sector fulfil the commitment to reduce HGV carbon dioxide emissions by 15% by 2025.

The Government strategy on sustainable ways to deliver goods 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.