Government backs programmes to help industry improve efficiency

Britain’s Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick announced a £67m boost to the Sustainable Distribution Fund, to help the freight industry reduce costs and cut emissions.

The money will be targeted at increasing the use of rail and water transport where current schemes support the removal of over one million lorry journeys each year. It will also be used to help hauliers and freight operators cut costs and be more fuel efficient, reduce emissions and cut road congestion.

Freight Best Practice is one of the programmes to benefit, with funding increasing from £1.2m to £1.5m a year. Between 2005 and 2006 the industry saved £83 million with the help of the scheme, and saw CO2 savings of 240,000 tonnes.

Jim Fitzpatrick said: ‘We want to help hauliers and van drivers continue to improve their operational efficiency and reduce costs.’

‘As more freight is transported by rail or water it will bring clear benefits for the economy, the environment and other road users.’

The Government said, since it started a training scheme in 2003, truckers have achieved an average 16% reduction in fuel use. The training focuses on measures such as watching speeds, accelerating and braking smoothly and checking tyre pressures.