The importance of Road Haulage to the UK economy


The importance of Road Haulage to the UK economy

As the campaigning for the General Election continues James Barwise, RHA policy lead, appearing on BBC Politics South East, said new road projects are essential to make journeys more efficient.

Declan Pang, RHA Director of Policy and Public Affairs has also highlighted the needs of the Road Haulage industry:

He said: “At a time of rising cost pressures and regulations for businesses, there remains many unanswered questions on how the various parties will approach a number of key challenges. 

“Whoever forms the next Government will need to work collaboratively with industry to help minimise the financial burden on operators to support economic growth.

“The total cost of operating an HGV has increased by 10% over the past year and because of these rising costs, some hauliers have gone out of business and some other operators are running at a loss with their margins wiped out by cost increases. 

“With the average profit margin of a haulier at just 2% (which equates to around £70 per week or £3500 per year profit per lorry), the next Government needs to minimise taxation for operators, particularly given that the cost of distribution impacts the prices on our shelves and the cost of living.

“As businesses try to navigate rising costs and different regulations, we want the next Government to consider a review of road freight regulations which can be simplified and reduced. “

The RHA is also calling for the suspension of the HGV levy and a ringfencing of future funds for green fuelling infrastructure.

The RHA has been active on all our behalves


The RHA has been active on all our behalves

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Road Freight & Logistics exists to highlight issues and challenges facing hauliers and coach operators. 

Over the past year The group has held evidence sessions on tackling freight crime, strategies to increase take up of low carbon fuels, discussed skills shortages, and strategised ways to minimise the financial burden on operators to support economic growth.

Most recently the RHA (Road Haulage Association) partnered with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Road Freight & Logistics in Parliament to hold an Annual General Meeting.

The RHA previously welcomed the Government’s pledge that some funds from the scrapped HS2 Birmingham to Manchester line will be re-directed to improving roads via ‘Network North.’

After reading the NIC findings, it is therefore seeking clarity from the government that the projects outlined in the Network North proposals will still go ahead as planned and we’re seeking assurances that they will go far enough to ensure the road network is fit for purpose.

The organisation continues to campaign for better driver facilities.

It argues “Commercial vehicle drivers are the backbone of our economy. It is crucial that drivers have access to proper roadside facilities if they are to effectively carry out their critical role of keeping our supply chains moving.”

It estimates that nationally there is an 11,000 lorry parking space shortage, resulting in many drivers having to take their rest periods in their vehicles at the side of the road with no access to hygiene facilities.

It wants to see lorry parking is embedded in all major National Highways building works, particularly Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and those that form part of the Road Investment Strategy and development of National Freight Network with truck parking facilities at its core.

Freight Crime


Freight Crime

The RHA has launched a drive ahead of the local elections to get freight crime taken more seriously.

It says freight crimes cost the haulage industry and the UK economy around £250m a year.

It wants to see more consistency with how police forces manage abnormal load enforcement.

The campaign calls for:

Full engagement with the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NavCIS) including reporting instances of freight crime directly to the unit and requesting assistance where significant instances are reported;

Including freight crime in policies relating to organised crime and liaise with other forces including through the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners;

More safe and secure truck parking;

Supporting truckstops with investment in security measures;

Creating a local awareness campaign;

Also don’t miss the Truckfest in Lincoln next month (May 4-6).  There’s a discount for RHA members.

Late payments and calls for a dedicated logistics minister


Late payments and calls for a dedicated logistics minister

Like many industries the haulage industry is no stranger to late payments.

So we welcome new rules coming in in April which will mean that companies with public sector contracts have to abide by 30-day payment terms within their supply chains for that specific work.

The RHA has welcomed this as a step in the right direction but called for action to go further.

The organisation, which represents hauliers like ourselves is also pressing for the creation of a dedicated minister for logistics with cross-departmental responsibilities.

A letter calling for this has been signed by the heads of not only the RHA but also the British Ports Association, the UK Warehousing Association, British International Freight Association, the British Association of Removers and Logistics UK among others.

They call for the Government to “recognise the value the sector provides to the economy.” according to the associations, it “generates £163 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) and contributes significant tax revenue for the UK, including £5 billion from Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty alone.”

We agree.  It is about time the importance of the logistics sector of which we are a part was recognised and properly valued.

RHA Campaigning


RHA Campaigning

The RHA continues to campaign to improve conditions for the haulage industry and  among other things is focusing on costs ahead of the upcoming budget.

Ongoing campaigns include making it easier for businesses to do business through lower costs and simpler regulation and removing obstacles to doing business internationally.

In June the RHA has announced it will be taking part in The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge on Thursday 20 June.

The event will take place at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire – and will promote the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) across the logistics and warehousing sectors.

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge promotes how inclusivity can be tackled collaboratively and collectively. This year will see new fun physical, mental, and skill-based activities put to teams.

New challenges include:

– The Big Diversity Sports Day which will feature sack racing, skipping and beanbag balancing

– Golden Bungee Balls will put teams in a head-to-head endurance test where they need to retrieve as many golden balls as possible while bouncing across a giant inflatable

– Toxic Jigsaw will see the teams navigate a giant 150-foot-long inflatable in pairs and complete a jigsaw

– ID Parade tests teams’ recognition and memory skills to identify celebrities

– Mortar Attack sees teams navigate their way through hazards and launch a rocket – streaming a smoke trail up to 1000 feet into the air – before making their way back to their crashed shuttle

– Semaphore Whisper is a game of Chinese whispers using a flag semaphore with teams split into three groups, one responsible for delivering the message, another deciphering it and the final confirming the final communication

– A Silent Disco dance-off

The challenge is also a platform for attendees to share best practices and network to help shape a more inclusive sector.

A bittersweet anniversary


A bittersweet anniversary

35 years ago this month saw the birth of Ticks Haulage.

Tick started ‘Ticks Haulage’ with a 7.5 ton crane lorry. The company is based in Manningtree, Essex, where it also has a self storage facility.

As you know Tick sadly died before we reached this milestone, but we’re sure he would have been happy to see the business continuing and going from strength to strength.

We have been regular attendees at various Truckfests showing off our lorries and as some of you will know Harry has been raising money for MacMillan Cancer Care.

We’re all proud of our history and Harry’s efforts.

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.