The new government must support the industry in meeting clean air legislation and not villainise HGVs, according to the FTA's election manifesto.

The trade association's head of national policy Christopher Snelling said government should “support freight and logistics operators as they work to comply with the latest Clean Air Zone regulations, and should not be using the industry as a scapegoat for a problem which is the responsibility of all”.

He added that there is no environmental benefit to increasing diesel duty on vans and HGVs as, unlike diesel cars, the vehicles have “no realistic alternative”.

The association's manifesto for the 9 June election also called for modal shift to trains and boats to help the environment, but added that road freight “will continue to play the dominant role in the movement of goods in the UK”.

Also on the FTA's agenda is the protection of free movement of goods to Europe as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

It also called for the new government to make the most of the legislative opportunity Brexit could provide, and work with the industry to “assess the possibilities for regulatory simplification”.

Other measures the association call for in the manifesto include the long sought-after "simple step” of cutting fuel duty by 3p and opening up the apprenticeship levy to all vocational training.

“The logistics sector underpins every aspect of modern life,” said Snelling, “and it is incumbent on the next government to ensure it remains a key consideration for the next government’s policy decisions, both domestically and internationally.”