Scottish Ministers recognise the key importance of fast, efficient distribution of freight to consumers and business as well as its importance to local, regional and the national economies.
Reflecting this vital role, a national freight strategy is being developed in parallel with a national transport strategy. When complete later in 2006, the freight strategy will address the needs of the economy, the environment and of society. However, complementary arrangements for the efficient and sustainable transport of freight need to be made at local and regional levels too.
Freight Quality Partnerships are a recognised means by which all stakeholders, including local government, business, freight operators, and local communities, can agree freight transport solutions in response to the needs of any particular region or area. In Scotland, only one Partnership, the North East of Scotland Freight Quality Partnership, based in Aberdeen currently exists, although moves are afoot to form others. However, in the rest of the UK, quite a number are already formed.
I commend this Guide as an aid to local and regional authorities in establishing effective Freight Quality Partnerships.
Tavish Scott MSP
Minister for Transport