The FTA’s attempt to liaise with 32 council leaders in Scotland to ensure plans for increased urban pedestrian and cycling routes do not hamper city centre deliveries has fallen on deaf ears.

Scottish councils are preparing to re-allocate road space to encourage more cycling and walking in urban areas and cut down reliance on public transport in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19, under new travel plans funded by the Scottish government.

However the FTA has raised concerns that many Scottish councils are in danger of ignoring the needs of logistics operators in these plans which could hamper the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

The FTA’s concerns arise from the lack of response from many of the 32 Scottish councils it contacted to offer advice on how effectively to incorporate logistics into the new travel plans.

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Mags Simpson, the FTA’s policy chief for Scotland, said she had written to the 32 council leaders earlier this month asking that kerb-side deliveries, service provision and journey times be maintained.

She added: “While the four local authorities from the TACTRAN (Regional Transport Partnership) group have been very supportive and understand fully the economic impacts of hindering freight traffic from traveling into towns and cities – this covers the regions of Angus, Stirling, Perth and Dundee – several other bodies have failed to engage with us. We have also had meaningful conversations with Glasgow City Council.”

FTA is now urging the Scottish government to ensure any council’s active travel plans to reallocate road space to cater for increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians also ensures logistics operators can continue to supply their customers safely and effectively.

Simpson said: “Our message to these bodies is clear: please consider the freight industry in any plans that include re-allocation of road space to cyclists and footpaths, in city or town centres, where deliveries have to happen at the roadside; the logistics sector will play a vital role in the nation’s economic and societal recovery from Covid-19 and its work should not be hindered.”