Lorry drivers claim to cut carbon footprint

Nearly 9 out of 10 road haulage companies are attempting to trim down their carbon footprint, according to a new survey by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

The trade association's survey shows that 87% of the lorry drivers who responded said they "had taken some action to reduce their carbon footprint."

Key results highlighted:

  • 75% of operators repeated reviews of vehicle specifications to ensure optimum vehicle fill and fuel efficiency;

  • 60% had applied fuel efficiency training for drivers, and 20% reviewed the viability of alternative transport modes, notably rail

  • 25% of the operators indicated that they were using bio-diesel

    "Clearly taking actions which reduce fuel use, and thus reduce carbon output, have other advantages - helping to contain increases in fuel prices, enabling more efficient and reliable deliveries and an overall reduction in costs," said FTA economics analyst Elizabeth Leroy.

    "But all of this has led to real benefits for both the economy and the environment. During the ten years to 2005 there was a reduction of 6.8 per cent in empty running and a cut in fuel use of 10 per cent.

    "Almost half the lorry operators surveyed were making more use of night-time deliveries in order to avoid congested roads.

    "There is no doubt that a reduction in road congestion will cut emissions of carbon dioxide from all road transport; government could generate very real improvements in economic and reliable transport performance and cuts in carbon outputs if it provided an adequate roads infrastructure fit for the needs of our 21st century economy and environment."

    The FTA survey also found that demand for road freight activity has now shown five consecutive quarters of growth, with most lorries on the road in the first half of 2007 in the construction, manufacturing and retail sectors.

    Dana Gornitzki

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