National Lorry week and update on the Government’s Net Zero programme



National Lorry week and update on the Government’s Net Zero programme

National Lorry week takes place this year from October 23 to 29 and is run by the RHA (Rod Haulage Association).

Now in its ninth year the event has been looking to the future of the industry. This year it focused on promoting road safety among primary school children, and showcasing the vital role that lorries play in our daily lives.

Its roadshow travels across the four nations of the UK for four weeks, showcasing the industry and everything it has to offer.

Meanwhile The Government has announced the next stage of its Net Zero programme committing £200m into ZERFD significantly to help to de-risk the transition to Net Zero.

While the RHA is committed to the project it also recognises the complexity of the policy for road haulage.

“Richard Smith, RHA Managing Director, said: “Unlike cars and vans, the pathway to decarbonise remains unclear as significant technical challenges exist to reduce emissions from trucks and coaches.”

However, the RHA has launched its own NetZero initiatives> They are a Net Zero Forum created in August 2023 and the publication in early September of its own “roadmap” to Net Zero to structure the tasks that lie ahead so that we can decarbonise the HGV and coach fleets rationally and viably.

A 20 mph speed limit in Wales?



A 20 mph speed limit in Wales?

The RHA (Road Haulage Association) has questioned the introduction of a default 20mph speed limit on Welsh roads.

It says “In the move, 7,700 miles of road will go from 30mph to 20mph, increasing the number of roads in Wales with a 20mph limit from around 2.5 per cent to 35 per cent.”

This is despite opposition from the public and businesses, it says.

“The lower speed limit will be suitable for some roads such as in city centres or outside schools, but elsewhere drivers will waste time in traffic jams, burning fuel while stopping and starting repeatedly.”

It is also participating in an upcoming conference on the state of Welsh roads.

It is calling for more investment in the road infrastructure and is holding a conference in October:

The RHA National Lorry Week event, is being held at RHA Associate Member, Fuel Active’s premises near Cardiff on Thursday 12 October.

Transport Focus



Transport Focus

Today’s survey findings from watchdog Transport Focus show that less than half of lorry and coach companies are satisfied with England’s major roads. This is deeply concerning.

National Highways must place greater priority on the experience of users. Road freight and coach industries should be at the heart of decisions relating to the Strategic Road Network.

With 79 percent of freight moved on our motorways, road freight plays an irreplaceable role in our supply chains. Reliable and predictable journeys are essential for our productivity and economic growth.

Increased satisfaction measures on the issues most important to users including: improved road surfaces; better information about roadworks, unplanned disruptions and unplanned delays; should be monitored and evaluated. We look forward to user satisfaction measures being linked to the objectives for National Highways.

Transport Focus’ survey measures the satisfaction from businesses on a variety of metrics related to motorways. Overall motorway satisfaction in the freight sector sits at around 49 percent, below 2020-21 levels at 55 percent.

RHA will continue to press National Highways and the Department for Transport to make these issues a priority.

RHA news update



RHA news update

The RHA (Road Haulage Association) has welcomed the news that the proposed EES (Entry and Exit System) for the EU has been delayed.

Due to come into force this May, it has now been put back until the end of the year to give haulage companies time to prepare.

The system would have required non-EU citizens to be fingerprinted and photographed potentially causing significant delays at ports.

In other news the RHA has a benevolent fund to help those associated with the haulage industry who are experiencing hard times in the current economic crisis.

In the past it has helped with:

  • Buying food, clothing and white goods.
  • Help towards outstanding bills and priority debt such as mortgage or rental arrears.
  • Funding for training – redundant drivers can apply for a free Driver CPC or driver medical to help them return to work.
  • Much-needed aid equipment, such as wet rooms, wheelchairs, specialist beds, etc.
  • Essential home improvements.
  • Travel expenses for hospital visits.

There is more information on how to apply on the RHA website or call 01733 856615

The RHA continues to campaign on behalf of the haulage industry



The RHA continues to campaign on behalf of the haulage industry

Reacting to the Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement, the RHA (Road Haulage Association) has pointed out that our haulage businesses are “facing near-record high inflation, energy costs and fuel prices in the midst of an economic crisis”.

It said: “Costs for road transport businesses have increased by over 11% in recent months with fuel alone up by nearly 40%.

“These increased costs have a direct impact on the prices on our shelves, as businesses have little choice but to pass them on to the consumer.”

The organisation’s MD Richard Smith was disappointed that there had been no action to reduce fuel duty nor any mention of the RHA’s proposed Essential User Rebate.

While welcoming the energy support package that will last until April 2023 the RHA has promised to work with the Government on its review of the scheme to try and ensure the best deal possible for its members in the Spring 2023 budget.

RHA campaigns for a national policy on clean air zones and lorries



RHA campaigns for a national policy on clean air zones and lorries

The Road Haulage Association has launched a campaign for more national consistency on Clean Air Zones (CAZ).

At the moment, it says, every local authority sets its own rules, and this is causing problems for hauliers.

A statement from the RHA policy unit the organisation said: “In principle, the RHA does not dispute the policy intention behind CAZ. Following the ClientEarth court wins, the Government has at face value seemingly gripped the need to bring down harmful Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions. This should be welcome news. We all want a healthy clean environment.”

However, the practical implications for hauliers and for local businesses trying to comply have not been thought through properly.

It argues that, given the shortage of second-hand, Euro VI emission standard, compliant with the current CAZ standards such vehicles are both hard to come by and are selling at inflated prices.

It says that the Government is also failing to understand how competitive the haulage industry is, with its current low knock-on effect to consumer prices.

“All this pain can be avoided however if ministers urgently change course and implement a smarter policy framework to reduce NOx emissions. We can be cleaner and at less cost.”

RHA is calling on the government to review existing regulation to allow Local Authorities to charge only the oldest dirtiest vehicles across all vehicle type and to allow differential charges. It also wants the Government to “mandate that auto-pay is available for all vehicles including non-UK vehicles and when CAZ charges will end.”

The RHA argues that both a cleaner environment and support for haulage industry, the low-cost economy and jobs are all possible with a better framework of regulations.

RHA urges the Government to focus on Brexit essentials for the haulage industry



RHA urges the Government to focus on Brexit essentials for the haulage industry

Time is running out to ensure a smooth transition for the transport of goods once the UK leaves the EU, says the RHA (Road Haulage Association).

The RHA has produced a document listing the crucial unanswered questions covering Customs formalities, Lorry access regulations and labour.

A big worry is the length of time hauliers may find themselves having to wait to pick up and discharge loads, particularly at UK ports.

It will not only impact on the speed with which deliveries can be made for customers, but also on the welfare of drivers.

With waits of up to 48 hours in queues being predicted at Dover, for example, no thought has been given to welfare facilities such as access to food and toilets. Not only this, but drivers are limited by tachographs to a maximum number of driving hours per day.

It says that making sure that the safety and welfare of drivers is properly taken care of is critical, but also that “transport businesses and traders need have clarity on how the border is expected to operate and their role and responsibilities in making it work.”

The RHA also believes that “emergency and free online based customs training will be needed” given that there are likely to be new regulations at ports and that there need to be new additional locations for customs offices.

RHA events coming up



RHA events coming up

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is the industry body that represents all of us in the business of transporting loads for all types of clients.

Almost everything we eat, drink, or wear, not to mention the materials needed for construction sites and manufacturing will at some point have been transported by lorry.

This year the RHA celebrates its 75th anniversary and there is a special commemorative film that you can watch via this link.

Each year the RHA celebrates National Lorry Week, and this year it will be held from Monday, 16 September 2019 until Sunday 22 September 2019.

Local events are held in schools and colleges, but this year there is also a Twitter challenge to reach more than two million posts on @RHANews with stories about the events you are holding #LoveTheLorry. There is a £100 for the best entry.

The RHA’s annual Autumn conference will be held on Thursday 3 October at the NEC, Birmingham and will cover the topics that are most affecting hauliers, not least Brexit.

There is an early bird discount for bookings before August 16 and bookings can be made online via the RHA website.