November newsletter

This issue we have news on the publication of our Alternative Fuels for Road Freight Strategy, our steering groups and important dates for your diary. We also share updates from our local authorities and partners. 

Alternative Fuels for Road Freight Strategy launches for the South West

Western Gateway and Peninsula Transport STBs have launched a joint Alternative Fuels for Road Freight Strategy, identifying how best to support our region’s freight and logistics sector in the uptake of alternative fuels such as hydrogen, gas and electric power.

Freight is a vital part of the South West’s transport sector, so understanding the barriers that businesses in the area face when it comes to switching to alternative fuel vehicles, and identifying the actions required to support them as they make this change, is crucial on the path to net-zero compliance. 

Twenty-four freight and logistics clusters have been identified as potential alternative fuel refuelling locations, with 11 in the Western Gateway area. The next step will include further investigations to identify the practicalities around delivering alternative fuels refuelling points at these sites, with a view to then helping facilitate their delivery through working with operators, energy suppliers and local authorities, to ensure the development of a cohesive refuelling network.  

Councillor Manda Rigby, Freight lead member for Western Gateway STB, said: “As a region, the Western Gateway has a clear commitment to adopting alternatively fuelled, lower carbon and more efficient freight vehicles. 

“The South West contains some of the most rural areas in England, which adds a layer of complexity when it comes to planning and adopting alternative fuels. That is why it is so important that we have this regional strategy addressing the issues that are unique to our area and setting out how we will focus to clarify, support and deliver the changes to infrastructure that are needed so we can continue to support the sustainable and dynamic growth of our local businesses.” 

Our steering groups

Our South West Freight steering groups have been meeting regularly for the past 18 months to drive forward the interventions recommended in our South West Freight Strategy. Last month we held the fifth meetings of our freight sub-groups — for rail, road and aviation and maritime — along with our main freight steering group forum, where we welcomed a diverse range of speakers.

Following the publication of our South West Coach Strategy we are now looking to establish a similar steering group to bring together private and public stakeholders to address the challenges facing our region’s coach sector.  

If you would like to know more about our freight or coach steering groups, please contact: WesternGatewaySTB@westofengland-ca.gov.uk.

Dates for your diary

The next Western Gateway STB Board meets on Wednesday 6th December at 2pm.

Items on the agenda will include our electric vehicle strategy and long-term Strategic Transport Plan (STP). You will be able to view the agenda, papers and watch the meeting here

We are holding an online STP workshop for our transport and business forum at 10am on Thursday 30th November. Meanwhile our rural stakeholder meeting will be held at Taunton on Tuesday 12th December. Please emailWesternGatewaySTB@westofengland-ca.gov.uk to find out more about these. 

Looking further ahead, a reminder that the third annual STB Conference will be taking place on Wednesday 28th February in Manchester, so please do save the date if you are able to join us there.

In case you missed it…

Here’s a round-up of the latest news as seen on our social media channels. You can find us on Xformerly Twitter and LinkedIn.

National Highways welcomed Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper MP to the A417 Missing Link site as the project enters its next stage of construction. He heard first-hand how the project will benefit local people and businesses, improve safety and reduce congestion.

WECA announced that more than 230 lorry drivers have been trained up to help tackle the regional and national driver shortage, thanks to the Mayor’s ‘Steer We Go’ campaign. 

In Gloucestershire work has begun on installing 1,000 EV charging points over the next three years. 

The Department for Transport announced a new £2m competition to help decarbonise local transport, with half of the fund reserved for rural areas. UK businesses can apply for up to £500,000 to run pioneering trials that tackle local transport challenges and cut emissions in the long term. 

Finally, we joined our local authorities’ support for Road Safety Week, which this year raised awareness about the important issue of speed when it comes to the safety of our roads.

You can keep up to date with all our work by following us on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/western-gateway-stb and X, formerly Twitter @WestGatewaySTB and subscribing to our newsletters by emailing westerngateway_stb@westofengland-ca.gov.uk