Robert Goodwill has talked about how “essential” freight transport is in a recent speech as part of the Commercial Vehicle Forum 2013.

The script version of the address, published by the Department for Transport, shows he said this sort of transport was essential for the country to function effectively. He also said that the logistics and freight sector in the UK was crucial where prosperity and growth in the economy were concerned.

He reminded his audience that a Logistics Growth Review from late 2011 explained the government’s views on how important the freight sector is.

“This made clear that facilitating conditions for growth in the logistics sector is critical to the government’s growth agenda,” he said.

“It included a wide package of measures to target real barriers to growth identified by businesses across the sector which we have been taking forward.”

The government had put a significant amount of investment into bringing up rail freight capacity, he said.

When it came to roads, he discussed the fact that June’s Spending Round had seen word given of road network investment and Highways Agency status reform, and went onto outline in more detail government action when it came to roads.

Moving onto the subject of commercial vehicles, he said these were “the basis of the sector” and spoke about the longer semi trailer pilot project.

“Longer trailers enable freight companies to transport more goods, more efficiently, and should give significant economic and environmental benefits,” he argued.

In a packed speech, the Conservative MP went on to discuss environmental issues, out of hours delivering, the HGV Road User Levy Act, fuel duty and more.

“We will continue to work with the freight industry to identify priorities where we can do more to help the sector develop and support the wider economy,” he promised.

He concluded by saying the government knows the logistics and freight industry plays a crucial role in the economy of the UK, and that he looked “forward to hearing more about the issues that matter to you.”

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