High fuel tax and traffic congestion have been had the worst effect on business performance over the last decade, an FTA survey has revealed.

In the FTA’s Quarterly Transport Activity Survey celebrating 10 years of the FTA survey, rising world energy prices was cited as the most significant negative effect, followed by road congestion.

According to the FTA, operators fear that the same factors will dominate the next decade, together with possible tax measures to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

More positive developments came from vehicle manufacturers offering better vehicle reliability and better fuel efficiency.

However, harnessing best practice and IT solutions, improving vehicle utilisation and consignment visibility as it moves through the supply chain, provides the greatest benefit to industry, the association said.

Simon Chapman, FTA's chief economist said: “UK road and rail freight operators are constantly introducing innovative practices and refining supply chains to ensure that UK businesses and consumers have a freight transport industry that is world-beating in its safety record, efficiency and dependability. The benefits of state of the art equipment and high calibre personnel - management, fitters and drivers - are being squandered by a lackadaisical approach by the Government to transport infrastructure investment and its insatiable appetite to pick the road user's pocket for tax revenue at every turn.”