A UK government minister has stressed the importance of the commercial vehicle sector to the UK economy in a speech to UK commercial vehicle sector industrialists.

The new Under Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill, told the Commercial Vehicle Forum this week that the UK freight and logistics industry was vital to economic growth and prosperity. 

He said that it employs more than two million people across 190,000 companies.

“Freight transport ensures supermarket shelves are stocked, medical supplies get to where they are needed, when they are needed, factory floors are supplied with equipment and UK businesses have access to overseas suppliers and can sell UK goods abroad,” he said, adding, “Efficient freight transport is vital for efficient business.”

Goodwill reaffirmed government’s investment of more than GBP24bn to deliver 52 new national road projects, and outlined plans to triple annual investment in road enhancements to more than GBP3bn by 2021. 

Goodwill also said he was pleased to see the trial of longer (artic plus semi-trailer), heavier vehicles now in full flow. “Longer trailers enable freight companies to transport bulk goods more efficiently, and will give economic and environmental benefits,” he said. 

The minister's comments come as the UK's car industry continues to post higher output, helped by a growing UK car market. Total CV registrations were strong in September, up 12.4% 49,197 units registered in the month. Industry analysts say that upcoming Euro 6 rules should bring higher sales of heavy trucks.