In the run up to the Spring Statement on 23 March, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is urging the Chancellor to support small hauliers and coach companies.
The RHA say many of their members are at breaking point — operating under severe pressures with huge increases in wage, fuel, and energy costs compounded by an acute shortage of drivers, vehicles, and parts.
According to the RHA, truck and coach operators need the Chancellor to support the sector by taking the following, urgent measures:
- Freeze fuel duty for diesel for a further two years.
- Introduce an essential-user fuel duty rebate for lorry and coach operators.
- A 12-month one-year delay to the red diesel rule changes with a phased introduction
- Address the acute labour shortages by allowing greater flexibility with the Apprenticeship Levy, allowing businesses to buy training modules with their levy funds
- Continue HGV skills bootcamps, maintaining funding to this training scheme as an alternative to apprenticeships.
- Maintain and extend commitments to long-term investment in the road system – on the strategic road network, the major road network, and other major local roads.
- Provide increased funding for lorry parking facilities to plug the acute shortage
Commenting, RHA MD, Richard Smith explained:
“Such is the resilience of the UK’s commercial vehicle sector that many of these challenges are already being actively addressed, but this industry, responsible for moving 95% of the nation’s economy by road, cannot do it on its own. The recent pandemic has also seen coach operators hit hard as a result of social distancing etc.
“If Government is serious about levelling up, it must get serious about reducing the tax burdens on our sector and address the skills shortages which continue to hinder economic growth.
“Now is not the time to hit hauliers with further tax rises.”