East Anglian Transport Industry Considers Future of Electric Freight Transportation

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The possibilities for electric freight transport, and potentially driverless freight vehicles, were up for discussion at a Road Transport Briefing hosted by regional law firm Ashtons Legal at Trinity Park in Ipswich on Thursday.

The event, which attracted around 100 delegates from the region, heard from the Marketing Director of Tevva on the latest position around the capability of electric freight transport and the future potential. A straw poll of delegates suggested that prior to the event only two or three percent of delegates had actively thought about this as a viable option for their businesses but by the end of the day many more were expressing the intention to investigate in more detail sooner rather than later. Considerable interest was generated by the visiting electric-powered lorry.

The briefing also heard from Senior Traffic Commissioner Richard Turfitt and a representative from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. Their key themes were around a clampdown on vehicles with non-compliant brake checks, the ease with which commercial vehicles can now be tracked round the country using Automated Number Plate Recognition, and the irritation caused by lorries repeatedly running into bridges simply because of inadequate guidance being provided to drivers.

Further content was provided by lawyers from Ashtons in relation to key legal issues facing the transport sector. Two key themes were in the spotlight; complexities around the employment status of many drivers and an increasing problem of late payment and bad debt affecting businesses, and what can be done about it.

Tim Ridyard, a leading regional Transport Law specialist at Ashtons, said: “The impact of changes facing the industry from both a compliance perspective and with new technology only add to the pressures being faced by the transport sector. This, coupled with the uncertainty over BREXIT, presents continuing challenges, but we believe with the right advice , guidance and support these are not insurmountable.”


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