Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, challenged transport operators to improve their performance on carbon emissions, in a speech to the Road Haulage Association annual lunch on Thursday.
Climate change was major long term threat, he said. And he pointed out that HGVs are responsible for 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.
Improving fuel efficiency was imperative, he said, highlighting the support the government is giving through funding to carbon reduction initiatives.
Alexander also praised the work done by the RHA, and FairFuel UK, on fuel duty – notably in explaining to government the impact of rising fuel prices on the transport industry.
He pointed out that the steps taken by the government in stopping the fuel duty escalator had led to an easing of fuel tax of some £22.5 billion. As a result a typical haulier had saved £21,000.
Alexander also highlighted the introduction of the road user levy as evidence of the way the government had listened to the concerns of the road transport industry, saying he was delighted that the changes had come into effect to level the playing field for
And he called on the road haulage industry to support Better Together campaign to keep Scotland part of the United Kingdom.
Alexander, who is MP for the Inverness area in the Scottish Highlands, highlighted the impact on trade and industry and said hauliers should speak up in support of maintaining a united UK.