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Written Question
Large Goods Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Andrea Jenkyns (CON - Morley and Outwood)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing the transport industry with assistance towards investment in greener trucks.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

Decarbonising transport is a key priority for the government and we have just published our world-leading plan, “Decarbonising Transport: A Better, Greener Britain’ which outlines our commitments to decarbonise transport, including the road freight sector, and achieve net zero by 2050.

We are supporting the transport industry to invest in greener trucks through a wide range of measures. This includes £20m this year to develop Zero Emission Road Freight Trials which will support UK industry to develop cost-effective, zero-emission HGVs and their refuelling infrastructure in the UK. Trials will invest in research, innovation and construction of zero emission HGVs by UK based business and SMEs to support the development of cutting-edge HGV technology, breaking down barriers to adoption and speeding up the decarbonisation of our road freight sector.

Government supports transport industry investment in low emission trucks through the £23 million Hydrogen for Transport Programme, which funds the deployment of hydrogen vehicles and refuelling stations. The £20m Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition matched capital funding to projects that produced low carbon waste-based fuels to be used in aeroplanes and HGVs and the £20 million Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial supported industry-led R&D projects trialing low-emission technologies for freight.

Finally, Government is providing £582 million to continue the plug-in grants.

The plug-in truck grant (PiTG) encourages the uptake of cutting-edge, zero emission HGVs by reducing the purchase price of zero emission commercial vehicles. From March 2021 the PiTG was increased to 20% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £25,000, for large trucks greater than 12 tonnes. The grant rate was increased in recognition of the higher upfront cost of these vehicles.


Written Question
Delivery Services: Electric Vehicles
19 Apr 2021

Questioner: Stephanie Peacock (LAB - Barnsley East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support businesses to electrify their road delivery fleet.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

We recognise that business fleets have an important role to play in the transition to zero emission driving. A central part to supporting this transition is the recently announced 2030 phase out of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, and the upcoming consultation on phasing out the sale of new diesel heavy goods vehicles.

The Government is investing £2.8 billion through a package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This includes £582m for grant schemes to help with the cost of purchasing vehicles and £1.3 billion for the associated recharging infrastructure, which supports businesses to make the transition. We are showing leadership by working towards electrifying the Government’s fleet. In 2017 the Government committed that 25% of central Government cars will be ultra low emission by 2022, and in 2018 through the Road to Zero strategy committed to 100% ultra low emission cars by 2030.

The Government has funded a series of R&D competitions, focussed on developing zero emission vehicle and associated infrastructure technology, including seeking solutions to electrify fleets and improve fleet charging capability. The £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial funded a series of industry-led trials of alternative propulsion technologies for UK commercial fleets. Other R&D programmes supporting fleet electrification include the £10m Wireless EV Charging for Commercial Users competition to examine the potential of wireless charging technology for taxi and home delivery fleets.


Written Question
Railways
30 Nov 2020

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (LAB - Slough)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2020 to Question 118091 on Railways, if he will publish the (a) minutes and (b) list of attendees of the Rail EU Stakeholder Roundtable meeting that took place on 17 November 2020.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

The Rail EU Stakeholder Roundtable meeting that took place on 17 November 2020 was attended by key members of the UK rail industry such as the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Network Rail, HS1 Ltd, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the Rail Freight Group (RFG), Logistics UK and Rail Forum Midlands.

Formal minutes of stakeholder roundtable meetings are not recorded to facilitate a free and open exchange of views on key issues. However, issues raised by stakeholders are then followed up directly by officials and updates are provided at subsequent meetings.


Written Question
Large Goods Vehicles: Alternative Fuels
28 Oct 2020

Questioner: Daniel Kawczynski (CON - Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding his Department is providing for alternative fuel sources for large vehicles that travel long distances.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

The Department’s £20 million Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial launched in 2017, supporting industry-led research and development projects, including for alternative fuels. The £23 million Hydrogen for Transport Programme, launched in 2017, funded the deployment of hydrogen vehicles and refuelling stations.

The Department’s Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition has made up to £20m of capital funding available to projects that will produce low carbon waste-based fuels to be used in aeroplanes and lorries.

The Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation incentivises the supply of low carbon fuels to all modes of road transport, including HGVs.

Further plans for decarbonising freight will form part of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.


Written Question
Large Goods Vehicles: Northern Ireland
11 May 2020

Questioner: Carla Lockhart (DUP - Upper Bann)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support he is providing to the logistics industry to help secure ferry places for (a) empty lorries travelling to Great Britain from Northern Ireland and (b) full lorries travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

The Government has made available £330 billion of support through loans and guarantees to support UK businesses. Changes have been made to some of the schemes to ensure that more businesses, particularly those that are SMEs like many road haulage companies, can benefit from them.

The Department is aware of the issues faced by the logistics industry in Northern Ireland. That is why on 24 April we announced a package of funding to support the movement of critical goods on up to 31 RoRo freight routes, including between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Up to £17 million of funding will be available to support up to five routes over the next two months, with the Northern Ireland Executive contributing 40 percent. Officials continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to gather evidence on the scale of the problem and any further support needed.


Written Question
Large Goods Vehicles: Coronavirus
5 May 2020

Questioner: Louise Haigh (LAB - Sheffield, Heeley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce proposals on supporting hauliers in Northern Ireland to manage the covid-19 pandemic.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

The Government has made available £330 billion of support through loans and guarantees to support UK businesses. Changes have been made to some of the schemes to ensure that more businesses, particularly those that are SMEs like many road haulage companies, can benefit from them.

The Department is aware of the issues faced by the logistics industry in Northern Ireland. That is why on 24 April we announced a package of funding to support the movement of critical goods on up to 31 RoRo freight routes, including between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Up to £17 million of funding will be available to support up to five routes over the next two months, with the Northern Ireland Executive contributing 40 percent. Officials continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to gather evidence on the scale of the problem and any further support needed.


Written Question
Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Coronavirus
28 Apr 2020

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) HGV and (b) logistics firms are providing drivers with (i) personal protective equipment and (ii) access to toilet and hygiene facilities.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

i) The Government has set out its clear, evidence based, strategy providing guidance on the sectors which have a clinical need for PPE. We have encouraged transport operators to check the guidance and make any changes in a way that works for their business, employees and customers, and asked that changes made be considered in consultation with their employees.

ii) Officials in my department have been working closely with the freight associations and Motorway Service Areas (MSAs), to ensure that they continue to provide suitable toilets and shower facilities to drivers. We have also been working with large Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs), who have implemented hygiene procedures and social distancing in line with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and government guidelines.

Where access to toilet or handwashing facilities is denied, and proper social distancing measures are not in place, this can be reported to RHA, who are collecting information on this issue.


Written Question
Motor Vehicles: Compressed Natural Gas
13 Mar 2020

Questioner: Jonathan Edwards (IND - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 March 2020 to Question 25169, what steps his Department have taken to encourage the uptake of compressed natural gas vehicles.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

The £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial (LEFT) has supported 61 zero and low emission heavy goods vehicles into operation on UK roads, including some using compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to diesel.

Emissions testing is a key aspect of project evaluation that will ensure we have a clear and independent view on the environmental impact of these vehicles. The programme is on-going with the final report expected to be published by the summer.

In the 2018 Budget, the Government confirmed that it would maintain the difference between alternative fuel (including CNG) and main road fuel duty rates until 2032 (subject to a review in 2024) to support the decarbonisation of the UK transport sector.


Written Question
Customs and Freight
24 Jul 2018

Questioner: Alex Norris (LAB - Nottingham North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions he plans to have with representatives of the (a) Freight Transport Association and (b) Trades Unions on the Government's plans for (i) customs arrangements and (ii) freight and haulage in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

Government Ministers and officials meet frequently with key stakeholders, including the Freight Trade Association and Trade Unions, as part of our comprehensive engagement on EU exit.

In the recently published White Paper on the Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU, the Government set out that we will explore options for a reciprocal access deal for road hauliers and passenger transport operators. There is a strong mutual interest in reaching an ambitious agreement, which maximises benefits for all our citizens and businesses. We will continue to work with industry to ensure that the interests of the logistics sector are properly reflected as we start to negotiate our withdrawal from the EU.

The White Paper sets out a new proposal for a Facilitated Customs Arrangement (FCA). The FCA is a business-friendly model that seeks to facilitate the greatest possible trade between the UK and its trading partners, whether in Europe or rest of world, while allowing the UK to set its own tariffs. The Government will continue to work with the FTA and other key stakeholders to resolve the remaining areas of detail.

The Government is committed to continuing to engage with stakeholders to ensure that their views and concerns are fully understood and taken into account and to ensure that our planning is effective and practical.


Written Question
Railways: Freight
9 May 2018

Questioner: Lord Berkeley (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of a report produced by the Hanseatic Transport Consultancy, on behalf of the European Rail Freight Association, which stated that the economic losses incurred by logistics companies, rail operators, infrastructure managers and customers totalled over £2 billion following the six week closure of the main North–South railway line in Rastatt in Germany; and what action they are taking to ensure the resilience of UK rail infrastructure to avoid similar closures and losses in the UK.

Answered by Baroness Sugg

Britain has one of the safest railways in Europe. We look to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), as the independent railway safety regulator, to ensure the industry is meeting its safety duties and that it responds appropriately to any new issues or risks which are identified. In response to the closure of the line at Rastatt, Network Rail is working with other European Infrastructure Managers to develop a joint handbook on international contingency management.

Network Rail works to build the resilience of its railway infrastructure by maintaining assets to an appropriate standard. Asset renewal plans are agreed with ORR each Control Period and are targeted to improve asset reliability and resilience. When major disruption does occur, Network Rail has contingency plans and recovery arrangements in place, with dedicated staff overseeing diversionary routes for rail freight.


Written Question
Ports: Infrastructure
3 May 2018

Questioner: Melanie Onn

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to support logistics and transportation infrastructure around fish landing ports as part of the Seafood 2040 Strategy.

Answered by Nusrat Ghani

The Department for Transport has recently published a port connectivity study (PCS):

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/better-connections-to-ports-to-help-business-growth.

The PCS sets out the wider economic importance of ports, and how effective, efficient movement of freight to and from ports supports many other parts of the economy, including the logistics sector and port based industries. Such improved connectivity can boost productivity, lower costs and provide access to international markets, and the study identified significant existing funding for road and rail access to ports, as well as how port connectivity is being factored into future investment planning. The principles, connectivity benefits, and transport infrastructure projects detailed in the PCS are applicable to fish handling ports as they are other ports. Seafood 2040 is an industry led strategy. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs will work with the industry through Seafish and the proposed Seafood Industry Leadership Group to deliver the those recommendations to which the Government has made a commitment.


Written Question
Transport: Infrastructure
2 May 2018

Questioner: Andy McDonald (LAB - Middlesbrough)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions took place with the aviation sector during the preparation of the port connectivity study in relation to the surface access needs of ports and airports.

Answered by Nusrat Ghani

The port connectivity study was commissioned specifically to examine the current level of surface access to sea-ports in England. Discussions were therefore undertaken with relevant stakeholders who utilise that surface access. This included road and rail freight industries, logistics companies, exporters, and the port industry, but not the aviation sector directly, though some of these stakeholders may work with both aviation and port sectors

The Government is developing a new Aviation Strategy for the UK. It will set out the long-term direction for aviation policy to 2050 and beyond. This includes reviewing how road and rail links to airports are planned and delivered.


Written Question
Large Goods Vehicles: EU Countries
6 Mar 2018

Questioner: Lord Dodds of Duncairn (DUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions his Department has had with the road haulier industry on access to EU member states after 2019.

Answered by Robin Walker

Officials and ministers in the Department for Exiting the European Union and the Department for Transport engage with stakeholders in the road haulage industry, as well as wider groups reliant on road haulage, on a regular basis.

We have conducted a number of informal bilaterals and roundtables with hauliers and trade associations as well as attending a number of conferences organised by the sector. In particular:

  • Secretary of State for Transport has held roundtables with road industry leaders from the motoring, freight and logistics sectors to discuss EU Exit. Issues discussed have included: access to EU Member States; road haulage on the island of Ireland; vehicle standards; customs; and opportunities from EU exit. They have also discussed the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill. Officials from DExEU have attended these events.

  • The Government engages regularly with the Freight Transport Association (FTA), who are one of the UK’s largest trade associations and represent the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. I met with them in December 2017 and discussed their interests and concerns around EU exit, including the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill. Former Minister the Rt Hon. David Jones, Member for Clwyd West, also attended their annual conference last year and gave the keynote speech.

  • The Government has also close and constructive links with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) - a UK trade association dedicated to the needs of UK road transport operators.

We will continue to engage with the haulage industry and seek views from across the sector in preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Details of ministerial meetings are published in the Department’s Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are publicly available on GOV.UK.


Written Question
High Speed 2 Railway Line: Cycling
27 Feb 2018

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps HS2 Ltd has taken to ensure the safety (a) of cyclists in relation to the design of lorries, (b) awareness of lorry drivers and (c) accreditation of lorry operators involved in HS2-related contracts.

Answered by Nusrat Ghani

HS2 Ltd has set clear requirements for its supply chain to follow, as set out in the HS2 Phase 1 Route-wide Traffic Management Plan. These requirements include:-

a) Vehicles attending worksites are required to comply with the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) standard with regard to the fitment and operation of safety equipment. Principal contractors are required to show how they will provide and operate vehicles which minimise ground clearance, remove blind spots, prevent underrunning and address driver visibility.

b) Construction drivers regularly accessing HS2 construction sites are required to demonstrate that they have attended accredited courses in work-related road risk driver training, rural driver training and fuel efficiency training.

c) Principal contractors are required to adhere to a quality standard, such as the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme, and to show how standards will be implemented through their supply chain.


Written Question
Roads: Wales
7 Dec 2017

Questioner: Stephen Doughty (LAB - Cardiff South and Penarth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on upgrades or improvements to the (a) A55 and (b) M4/A40 corridor to cope with potential delays to freight traffic a result of additional customs procedures in the event of the UK leaving the EU customs union.

Answered by Jesse Norman

The Department regularly engages with the Welsh Government to ensure a coordinated, joined up approach to investment in the strategic road network. The Department is in consultation with the ports and logistics industry, in order to help ensure that movement through ports and across borders is as frictionless as possible, whatever the outcome of negotiations on future arrangements for trade with the EU.