More of the £500m being set aside for encouraging the take-up of ultra low emission vehicles should be allocated to freight vehicles, the FTA has suggested.

So far, the majority of the funding to increase uptake of such vehicles between 2015 and 2020 has been limited to cars and vans, it says, with just £6.5m allocated to help LGV operators use alternative fuels and low carbon technologies.

"FTA would like the government to realise that heavy goods vehicles have just the same challenges as cars in decarbonising, but to date, freight has been largely sidelined," said FTA climate change policy manager, Rachael Dillon. "The freight sector urgently needs funding support too."

Gas remains a viable option in helping freight vehicles reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, said Dillon, but the expense involved in vehicle conversion and a lack of public refuelling points mean that the market is "struggling to take off," she added.

FTA’s comments follow the launch of a government consultation on supporting the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles. The consultation runs until 10 January.

It comes as Birmingham considers following London and establishing a low emission zone.