Ministers should ban the sale of new diesel HGV lorries by no later than 2040, according to a report by the government’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).
The report, Better Delivery: the challenge for freight, highlights the need for the government to prepare detailed assessments of the infrastructure needed to enable the uptake of battery electric or hydrogen lorries, and for the energy regulator Ofgem to work with the freight industry to enable charging at depots by 2025 – all to support the ban of petrol and diesel HGVs by no later than 2040.
Sir John Armitt, the commission chairman, said: “Whether it’s retailers, manufacturers or each of us as consumers, we all rely heavily on our freight industry. As one of the most efficient in the world, it rarely fails to deliver.
“But we are paying the price for this miracle of modern service through the impact on our environment and air quality, and through congestion on our roads. Government must act to help businesses tackle these issues.
“Today’s report says we need to set out bold plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel HGVs, bring emissions from freight on both road and rail to zero and give the industry greater visibility in Whitehall and town halls.”
Commissioner Bridget Rosewell said: “Heavy goods traffic on our roads could increase sharply over the coming decades, and distances covered by light goods vehicles like vans could come close to doubling.
“Clear, decisive action – including a ban on new diesel HGV sales and tackling emissions from rail freight – is needed now if we’re to have a zero carbon freight industry by 2050, which could help us to meet our stretching climate change targets.”
The National Infrastructure Commission was established in 2015 to offer independent and impartial advice to government on meeting the country’s long-term infrastructure needs.