Freight firms saw an increase in road journey times during the first quarter of the financial year, according to new figures.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of freight companies reported a deterioration in road journey times during April-June this year, compared with the same period last year.
According to figures released by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), hauliers had improved rail service reliability.
Just 20% of firms reported worsening road journey times in the previous quarter (January-March).
Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England saw a rise in freight activity during April-June 2011, whereas firms based in London, south-east England and the Midlands reported a dip.
The FTA said: "The outlook for the period July-September 2011 continues to show marked regional variation.
"A North/South split appears to be emerging in the pace of recovery, with London and the South East, and Wales and the West (of England) expecting activity levels to fall while the Midlands, the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland expect an increase in activity levels."
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