Our sector needs support from next Government to keep the economy moving

Just this week we’ve sadly seen Cartwright Brothers join a growing list of hauliers who’ve gone into administration. It’s a sad reality that news like this is becoming more regular. Last year almost 500 hauliers went out of business, and regrettably, we’re at almost 170 so far this year already. Higher interest rates and ever-rising running costs have made the cost of running a business in our sector much more expensive this year than last.

Spelling out some specific asks to tackle rising costs and increased regulations in our sector, RHA Managing Director, Richard Smith said:

“These are challenging times for many operators in our industry due to rising costs and increased regulations. When costs increase, goods become more expensive. We spelled out in our recent manifesto that the next government must relieve the tax burden on industry to support economic growth. We therefore want the next Government to commit to the continued freeze on fuel duty. We’re also calling for the suspension of the HGV levy. These would be important steps to show early on that the next Government supports drivers and the commercial vehicle industry.

“Our sector also needs a sensible skills policy that addresses shortages that impact productivity. Addressing skills gaps such as a shortage of technicians (HGVs, LGVs and coaches) will require collaboration to train, and retain talent. We want to see the apprenticeship levy reformed – replaced by a skills levy which will better serve our industry’s needs.

Commenting further, Richard added:

“Our sector is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the UK. When regulations grow, it becomes more expensive for businesses to comply. We see different and often contradictory regulations in towns and cities across the country, with red tape at our borders; all this further impacts HGV, LVG and Coach businesses. We want the next Government to carry out a comprehensive review of road freight regulations so that they can be simplified and significantly reduced.

“On behalf of our members, we’ll continue to make all of these points. Whatever the outcome of the election, we stand ready to engage and collaborate with government to support our members and the industry to drive economic growth.”