RHA Policy Director submits the RHA’s key issues to the Scottish Government

Ahead of the Scottish Budget for 2024 to 2025, @Martin Reid, RHA Policy Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has delivered the RHA’s submission to the Scottish Government. In the submission, Reid highlighted the importance of road transport to the UK’s supply chain and economic growth.

It was also necessary to shine a light on the significantly increased pressure road transport businesses are facing due to a multitude of factors. Wages, fuel costs, driver shortages, and sustainability pressures were some of the issues mentioned in the submission.

As a result of the challenges mentioned above, the operational costs of an HGV have increased by 9%, not including fuel, over the last 12 months. This explains why 463 haulage companies have gone bust in the UK during the same time. If we’re to decrease operating costs and prevent companies from closing, then we need the Government to focus on stability, long-term growth, and targeted support to address the major challenges being faced.

In the UK Government’s Spring Budget, we saw the fuel duty freeze continued which is an important step to help reduce costs and help control inflation. The continued freeze on Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for HGVs for 2023-2024 is also welcome and much needed for the industry.What isn’t welcome is the increase in corporation tax from 1st April, as well as the return of the HGV Levy from August – a tax targeted at the road freight industry that economic growth in the UK relies upon.

A lot of support from the Government is required to get this vital industry back on track. Further requests being put forward to the Scottish Government include:

  • Honour existing commitments on critical infrastructure and increase investment to develop the strategic road network, including ferry routes.
  • Rationalise HGV speed limits to match the rest of the UK.
  • Support reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, to provide greater flexibility for skills training.
  • Reduce the disparity in skills funding with England, and therefore the competitive disadvantage Scottish hauliers face when recruiting and planning for the future.
  • Reform planning to support the creation of safe and secure lorry and coach parking facilities in Scotland.