The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said it is ‘relieved' at the findings of the Smith Commission on further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament.
The report of the Smith Commission includes several factors that could impact the freight and logistics industry:
- All aspects of fuel duty and excise duties will remain reserved.
- The power will be devolved to the Scottish government to allow public sector. operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish ministers.
- Remaining powers to change speed limits will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
- Powers over all road traffic signs in Scotland will be devolved.
- The functions of the British Transport Police in Scotland will be a devolved matter.
Chris MacRae - FTA head of policy Scotland said: "FTA welcomes the findings of the Smith Commission Report today. It is important that Scotland's Supply Chains and routes to market are able to operate efficiently across borders, and within UK, Europe and Globally ."
After consultation with its members the FTA had made its submission to Lord Smith of Kelvin's in response to the Smith Commission, when it highlighted five key objectives to maintaining safe, efficient and sustainable logistics throughout the UK.
The five objectives outlined within the FTA submission were:
- Free and open borders.
- Fair competition for freight.
- Quality and value for money services for motoring services agencies.
- Consistent, fair and effective approach from safety regulators/agencies.
- High quality transport infrastructure networks.
The FTA had asked the commission that when it was considering the scope for further devolution of any law-making and tax-raising powers to "carefully consider the consequential impacts of its proposals on Scotland's supply chains and logistics activities and aim to avoid the potential for new costs or market distortions to arise that would disrupt current economies of scale or borderless transport patterns".