The Road Haulage Association has recently called on the Government to establish and implement relevant transport policies to ensure the industry’s forward progress in the most cost-effective way possible. The future of the UK’s logistics industry and transport contracts are reliant upon an efficient road haulage network. Without these changes being addressed the sector responsible for hauling 85% of the UK’s economy will be at risk. |
World of Change
Our recent dramatically changing global and local government landscape must prove to be the opportune moment for politicians to step up and support the road haulage industry in its entirety. The logistics industry in the UK is the fifth largest industry employing approximately 1.8m people and providing £78bn to the economy as a whole. However, future transport contracts and UK-based logistics companies need to continually remain relevant, efficient and cost-effective if they are to be profitable in today’s evolving market.
The Road Haulage Association has recognised the need to strike while the iron is hot and is pushing government officials to finally enact relevant transport policy regarding the mutually shared key issues facing hauliers across the country.
A Comprehensive Manifesto
The RHA’s manifesto addresses the primary issues of concern for the industry from the ground up.
1. Essential investment in road networks to ensure safe and efficient work conditions. Their proposals include:
• “Ensure that investment in roads is sufficient to provide a congestion free road network. • Ensure that adequate investment is made for the ‘last mile’ of delivery, i.e. on local roads. • Ensure that technology is used to help ensure more efficient use of available road space. • Improve modern rest facilities on the road network for drivers. These should also be secure facilities for their vehicles.”
2. UK hauliers are still prey to the enormously expensive fuel duty tax which is a massive burden on the entire supply chain. Fuel costs account for over a third of operating costs and the fuel duty in the UK is still the highest in Europe. RHA proposes to:
• “Reduce the differential between duty rates in the UK and the rest of the EU. • Rebalance the uncompetitive advantage that EU hauliers currently exploit in the UK through bringing in full tanks of cheaper diesel from the EU and never filling up in the UK. • Take into account that for the prosperity of UK plc, the government needs to act in a post Brexit landscape to support hauliers and the UK supply chain.”
Emissions Control and Local Air Quality
3. Air quality control and emissions reduction are a priority for all. However, many feel that the pressure and burden of change has been laid upon the haulage industry unfairly. The RHA proposes:
• “Tackling congestion in pollution “hot spots” (usually where there are a higher proportion of buses and taxis) • Encouraging the retirement of old buses and taxis (especially those that are pre Euro V) • Reducing congestion through better traffic management and control or roadworks • Removal of restrictions that force HGVs to use congested roads at peak times. • Implement a realistic vehicle scrappage scheme for hauliers operating pre-Euro VI HGVs.”
They are working to guarantee that plans to restrict HGVs around the country are: • “Phased to get the quickest air quality benefits while ensuring businesses have time to adapt. • Not going to penalise hauliers who have followed the advice of previous governments. • Fully costed and measured against the benefits they will bring. • Simple and uniform in their application across the country to ensure hauliers do not face unnecessary costs.”
The future of one of the UK’s largest and most profitable industries is a stake. For businesses to remain competitive and continue to win transport contracts it is necessary that essential and relevant policy changes be made soon. Given the nature of the changes that the RHA are calling for it is safe to assume that this cannot be regarded as a partisan topic. Improvements to the UK’s infrastructure and roadways benefits all and will ensure the speedy forward progress of an ever-growing industry.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching drivers with transport contracts. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Related Articles -