Curbing the lorry can jeopardize towns
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FTA director's counter-blow to MPs
• A counter-blow to the "Dykes Bill" was delivered by Mr Hugh Featherstone, director of the Freight Transport Association, to MPs at a meeting of the All-Party Roads Study Group in the Commons on Tuesday.
Urging the need for a bigger building programme for ring roads and by-passes, he said it was the only hope of making a major impact on the problem of the lorry and the environment. He warned that a system of designated or advisory routes for heavy lorries, far from being an alternative to a bigger roads programme, could never get off the ground without it.
The problem of the delivery vehicle in towns was small compared with that of through traffic. The town problem was one of traffic management, balancing the needs of the environment with the community's livelihood. The search should continue into other possible solutions, like night deliveries and trans-shipment but they would not provide global solutions.
Mr Featherstone said Britain needed to keep the lorry problem in perspective. "We need to control it," he said, "but if we go beyond a certain point we put in jeopardy not only costs, not only our competitive position vis-à-vis Europe but, perhaps more important, a way of life at home. We run the very real risk that town centres will die because of the growth of out-of-town shopping centres."