The Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership
D Arthur, J James, AECOM, UK
The Partnership brings together transport operators, industry representatives, local authorities, and local stakeholder groups to deliver an action plan targeted at improving the efficiency, safety and sustainability of freight movement.
?Sustainable Distribution: A Strategy? provides the overarching Government guidance for freight. The document highlights the importance of efficient freight distribution, but stresses that this should not be at the expense of the wider community and environment. At a local level, the strategy promotes the development of partnerships between local authorities the freight industry, business communities, residents and environmental groups.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued guidance on ?How to set up and run Freight Quality Partnerships (FQPs)?. This sets out how to initiate FQPs and includes guidance on identifying action plans on the basis of the issues and problems, together with advice on maintaining momentum and monitoring/evaluation.
Setup and Role of the Partnership
A study to assess the movement of freight around Tyne and Wear was carried out to provide a solid foundation for the development of a realistic and deliverable strategy. The launch of the Partnership followed at a consultation event in April 2005, where it was agreed that the aim of the strategy should be `to improve the efficiency, safety and sustainability of freight movement in the region?. Importantly, there was a consensus that the Partnership should work to a clearly defined action plan, focussing on the delivery of tangible outputs.
The Partnership seeks to understand the problems and issues of freight movement and sets a coherent strategy and mechanism which they can addressed through. It brings together transport operators, industry representatives, local authorities, the Highways Agency and key local stakeholder groups to facilitate delivery of an action plan, which is targeted at improving the efficiency, safety and sustainability of freight movement.
The Partnership is run by the Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan team, with the assistance of consultants Faber Maunsell. It meets on a quarterly basis to review progress towards identified tasks and inform the direction and scope of the work carried out. There has been a consistent focus on turning policy into practice.
Key outputs of the Partnership since it was formed in 2005 are:
? A freight routing strategy for Tyne and Wear, including the production of a freight map;
? Innovative tailored maps for key freight destinations;
? Review of signage with respect to key destinations for freight;
? Design and installation of much needed freight specific signs for the Port of Tyne on both the local authority and Highway Agency?s network;
? Implementation of other signing improvements, including restriction signs on the Tyne Bridge.
? A successful website, which aims to provide a one-stop shop information source for freight operators;
? Design and installation of a trial electronic Truck Information Point (TIP) off the A1(M) at Durham Services;
? A standardised map for highway restrictions and abnormal loads routes across Tyne and Wear;
? Review of lorry parking facilities and engaged in the process of facilitating the development of new sites;
? Review of current freight movements by rail in Tyne and Wear and identification of potential areas for increasing the contribution of rail freight.
? Facilitated a review of priority lanes in Tyne and Wear, with a view to developing guidance on when it is appropriate to introduce different types of priority lane;
? Commenced a feasibility study for the development of a Consolidation Centre in Newcastle City Centre; and
? Successfully engaged with operators, industry representatives, local authorities, the Highways Agency and key local stakeholder groups.
The Partnership is now developing links with neighbouring local authorities in the North East to encourage development of equivalent work in these areas ? Durham and Northumberland County Council have both developed mapping initiatives as a result.
In March 2008, the Partnership won the Freight Transport Association?s (FTA) ?Freight Quality Partnership (FQP) of the Year Award?. Nine FQPs were shortlisted from a total of 122 in England. The Partnership was credited with delivering relevant and tangible outputs and developing innovative ideas that are practical and relevant to goods vehicle operators.
In October 2008, the Partnership won the prestigious Transport Policy and Planning award at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) annual awards.
In January 2009, a successful funding application was made to CIVITAS, which is an EC initiative aimed at helping cities achieve a more sustainable, clean and energy-efficient urban transport system by implementing a range of technology and policy-based measures.
Further details on the Partnership can be found in the enclosed leaflet and on the website www.tyneandwearfreight.info
Association for European Transport