The Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT), set up to offer the Government independent advice on strategic policy issues, will conduct the study and is asking the industry for input.

Leading the work for the CfIT is former Freight Transport Association chief executive Richard Turner. “There has been a 40 per cent increase in van traffic over the last 10 years and vans now account for about 13 per cent of UK vehicle kilometres,” said Turner. “Yet there remains a real lack of knowledge about this sector which is often unloved by motorists, pedestrians and regulators.” The CfIT said there are now more than three million LCVs on the road, representing around nine per cent of all vehicles.

“This study will be one of the first attempts to really get to grips with this complex area, to find out why there has been so much growth and to assess the impact of any likely future growth in the market,” said Turner. “The study will also plug some major gaps in our knowledge of this flexible business tool so that policy makers in both Westminster and Brussels can make informed decisions without harming the vital role that vans play in our economy,” he said. “To complete this work we are seeking the co-operation of the whole sector; companies, manufacturers, operators, drivers and customers.”

Any parties interested in contributing should e-mail David Prescott at as soon as possible. The report is due to be published some time in 2010.