The FTA has condemned calls for “superficially attractive” blanket bans on HGVs during rush hour in the capital in its manifesto for the London Mayoral election.

Peak-time bans, such as that proposed by Lib Dem candidate Caroline Pidgeon, would create more issues in terms of road safety, emissions and hurt the London economy, according to the Freight Manifesto.

“Many would downsize their vehicles to avoid the restriction. The reality is that vans have twice the fatality rate with cyclists per tonne carried compared to HGVs,” the FTA said.

It added that because of the additional smaller vehicles required to move the same volume of product, an HGV ban would also drive more pollution.

The manifesto identifies a stronger economy, cleaner environment and safer roads as priorities for the road freight industry in London.

Other recommendations the FTA makes in the document include better cross-river infrastructure in east London; a change in night time delivery restrictions so more vehicles can make out of hour deliveries; support for urban consolidation centres and improved enforcement of current safety regulations.

FTA chief executive David Wells said: “Freight is vital to the future of London.  Cities are built by freight and they live on freight.  The social importance of the logistics industry is all too often overlooked.

“FTA’s Manifesto emphasises that freight is always only used when there is a purpose.  London’s people and businesses require over 360,000 tonnes of goods to be supplied by lorry each day.

"That’s 15,000 tonnes picked up or dropped off each hour, or 250 tonnes every minute; as this figure excludes vans and other modes, it is only a part of what freight delivers.”