Published: 24 January 2013
The Transport Select Committee hearing on the subject of 'European Land Transport Security,' which took place on Monday 21 January, was a welcome opportunity for the Freight Transport Association to voice on behalf of its members its views in key areas which affect the freight industry on a day-to-day basis.
FTA was invited to give evidence at the hearing on the subject of security which the association believes is central to the logistics industry both in terms of the commercial importance of what FTA members do, and the social importance of a safe and secure working environment for the many people in every area of the UK who work in logistics.
During the evidence session, the Committee is expected to have covered issues including cargo theft from vehicles, co-operation between member states, and the issue of stowaways ('clandestines') on board both lorries and coaches; which are all considered security problems to the freight industry across Europe.
In addition FTA called for the creation of an Expert Group on Land Transport Security within the EU which it would support, believing it would secure borders more effectively and ensure trans-European working, with channels of communication created between industry stakeholders.
FTA's General Manager - Global & European Policy, Chris Welsh, who was due to give evidence to the Transport Committee at the hearing said:
"A significant proportion of the regulation affecting logistics comes from Europe. It is therefore only right that UK politicians are consulting industry about the real impact of these measures on the businesses that keep the British economy moving.
"This evidence session gives FTA the chance to set out some of the key areas where European policy is affecting our members day to day – from data sharing, to lorry parking, to where the cost burdens of extra security should fall. The role and performance of European institutions is a key debate in every area of life, and commercial transport is no different," concluded Mr Welsh.
During the Transport Select Committee hearing, FTA had planned to raise the subject of the cost of providing additional security and the expert group, saying that this should be borne at national or EU level and not by a levy imposed on road fleet operators at border crossings, whilst voicing concerns over additional security, stating that it could be counter-productive to the flexibility of land-based transport networks. FTA were keen to emphasise the need for a risk-based approach to security, and better use of intelligent transport systems such as telematics in order to target security threats and crime, rather than the addition of extra layers of legislation.