Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Roads See More Congestion According to Freight Transport Group's Survey of Logistics Operators

Overcrowding Levels Worst Since 2002
Shipping News Feature

UK – The latest Quarterly Transport Activity Survey (QTAS) from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has revealed that congestion on UK roads is at the worst it has been for over 10 years. The results from the survey of over 100 logistics operators are seen as an indication of the impact of the increase in domestic road freight activity levels, and further highlight the rate of decline in the reliability of the UK motorway network.

The survey showed a 55% deterioration in the reliability of the UK road network, taking it to the lowest level since 2002, due to the increase in traffic levels in the run up to Christmas. The rise in home shopping has doubtless impacted negatively on the figures as more and more consumers opt to purchase goods from their armchairs.

The FTA has previously voiced its support for the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) which was announced by the Department for Transport in December 2014 and which outlines plans for £15 billion to be spent over five years on 1,300 new lane miles on motorways and trunk roads in order to reduce congestion. Karen Dee, FTA’s Director of Policy, said:

“This FTA Survey is a clear indication that congestion on our roads has increased again, and drivers are getting stuck in traffic on a regular basis. Reliability on the UK road network is crucial for road freight operators. The freight and logistics industry needs road infrastructure that it can rely on to ensure that products are moved efficiently and at reasonable cost. As the economy grows there will be increasing demands which will mean more pressure to deliver, and more vehicles on the roads – so it is only going to get worse.”

The survey also finds optimism amongst operators regarding the growth of domestic road freight activity in Q1 of 2015 whilst concerns persist over the driver shortage. Insolvencies amongst road haulage operators remain down at 60% lower levels than those experienced at the peak of the recession whilst the strength of Sterling against the Euro is likely to impinge on international trade in the near future.

The QTAS surveys show far more than the decline in road transport standards with deep and short sea, air and rail freight all touched upon as well as commercial investment intentions and important economic indicators all receiving a mention.