The government is to launch a pilot HGV fleet review scheme to encourage smaller hauliers to cut fuel usage through increased driver training and in-cab technology.

The pilot is one of a range of measures aimed at cutting road freight emissions which are outlined in the DfT’s recently published Freight Carbon Review.

The review looks at ways the road freight industry can cut its emissions. These are estimated to make up 17% of carbon emissions and 21% of NOx emissions in the UK.

It is part of wider government plans to slash UK emissions by at least 80% by 2050.

The pilot HGV fleet review scheme will be run by the Energy Savings trust.

It has been prompted by evidence that smaller operators are significantly less likely to invest in either driver training or telematics equipment.

The pilot will deliver a five-day bespoke training course for participating fleets.

Freight Carbon Review

Other measures outlined in the review include confirmation that the longer semi-trailer (LST) trial will be extended, and a government pledge to work with the FTA to encourage smaller hauliers to sign up to its Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme.

The review also set out plans to introduce laws to allow Category B driving licence holders operating alternatively-fuelled vans of up to 4.2-tonnes to carry an extra tonne in weight, to account for the heavier drivetrains.

Incentives to encourage hauliers to use cleaner, quieter vehicles in Clean Air Zones are also on the agenda.

The FTA welcomed the review and called on both government and the freight industry to make greater efforts to help cut freight emissions.

Christopher Snelling, FTA head of national and regional policy, said: “Making the switch to alternative fuels is challenging for many operators, with a lack of public refuelling infrastructure and the expense of new technology, so we need further government support.

“Industry, too, must play its part. Year-on-year, Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) members outperform the sector as a whole when it comes to carbon reduction.”