When giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament Infrastructure Committee on 18th March DHC Director Derek Halden suggested that partnership agreements should be used to manage investor risk to deliver investment in efficient sustainable logistics. Current policy instability results in companies planning less efficient freight transport. Scotland has generally good transport infrastructure but opportunities for rail freight through the channel tunnel, and local freight consolidation in towns and cities are being missed.
New partnership agreements could give businesses the confidence they need to adopt more sustainable practices. Derek suggested that government investment could be more effective at levering commitments that would ensure that when infrastructure is improved it also gets used. By reforming the current Freight Facilities Grant to become a broader Freight Investment Fund regional development policy goals could be secured alongside other environmental and social benefits.
The full report of the session is published by the Parliament.