CM 26.02.15Volvo FE pictured in London

The next mayor of London must recruit a “freight commissioner” in order to support the growing logistical demands of the capital, according to the FTA.

With just a few months before Londoners get a chance to vote for a mayor for the next four years, the trade association said it was crucial that whoever takes on the role, they employ someone dedicated to overseeing the many freight-based initiatives in the pipeline.

These include the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone and the Direct Vision Standard.

Denise Beedell, FTA policy manager, said there was “an urgent need to create a vision for enabling efficient logistics and to develop a world-class freight and logistics environment in the capital.

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“That is why, in the view of FTA, a dedicated freight commissioner is necessary to ensure all schemes are designed holistically and adopted consistently across the capital,” she said.

The FTA has also called for the next mayor to work more closely with the logistics sector and support its call for more cohesive policies to minimise emissions, improve road safety and manage congestion.

Incumbent mayor Sadiq Khan rejected previous calls for a freight commissioner. In July 2019 he said it was not necessary as leadership on freight was provided by the deputy mayor for transport, as well as Transport for London’s director of city planning: “TfL will continue to lead on coordinating the many parties involved in achieving our shared ambitions for freight and servicing in London, including boroughs, suppliers, operators, servicing companies, businesses, large organisations such as the NHS and customers to ensure the actions are delivered consistently across London,” he said.