The FTA‘s quarterly transport activity survey shows businesses are more positive about prospects for domestic road freight activity than they have been for two years. Their optimism follows a 2005 characterised by weaker demand for haulage services.

The improvement in business conditions is reported in most sectors, especially construction and retail, and covers all geographical areas. International haulage by UK registered vehicles grew in the first half of 2006, while strong growth was reported on short sea shipping routes.

In a poll of more than 100 FTA members, high fuel tax and traffic congestion were rated as having the biggest negative impact on business performance during the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, the FTA has told the European Commission that higher quality standards for road transport operators’ entry into the industry, as well as conduct, are not required. It said enforcement of current regulations was the key.