The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for extended delivery times to be maintained as non-essential retail outlets open from Monday (June 15) and the Government’s active travel plans are implemented by councils.
The trade body argues that continued flexibility in delivery times will be essential to meet soaring demand for products while respecting social distancing rules.
Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at FTA, explained: “FTA campaigned successfully for delivery hours to be extended to strengthen the resilience of the supply chain during the pandemic; now, we are urging government to continue the relaxation as the nation emerges from lockdown to support economic and societal recovery from COVID-19.
“With ‘non-essential retail’ units permitted to open next week, we expect to see demand for products increase significantly; continued flexible delivery hours will allow logistics businesses to stock shops safely and efficiently while keeping up with demand. And, with Government plans to reallocate road space to cyclist and walkers, extended delivery hours will be needed due to restricted access.
"Logistics remains vital to supporting the nation through the pandemic and rebuilding the economy; Government must not restrict its ability to do so.”
The Government has issued new guidance allowing local authorities to widen pavements and re-distribute road space, but it fails to consider the needs of delivery and service fleets. No mention is made of maintaining kerbside access for deliveries, the needs of other road-users or the potential economic impact.
Published by the Government to help councils manage social distancing as the lockdown is lifted and people return to work, calls are now being made for the official guidance to be amended and re-issued.