The Road Haulage Association has welcomed Philip Hammond’s announcement in his Budget that he intends to allocate £30 billion for motorways and other major road improvements, including £420 million for fixing potholes to be made available immediately.
However, “while on the one hand this is both good and welcome news, we need to see work start on improving our road network now”, said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.
“Congestion resulting from road improvements costs the haulage industry millions of pounds each year. We are already heading towards another cold winter and the potholes resulting from last winter’s freezing conditions still need to be fixed before they get even worse.”
Likewise, the Freight Transport Association has also spoken out on the Budget and news of £420 million being allocated to fixing potholes. FTA head of UK policy Christopher Snelling said that this is “is a drop in the ocean when you consider that work that will cost more than £8billion is needed to rectify years of under investment in our road network.”
He continued: “The damage caused by potholes to the UK’s logistics fleet is adding unnecessary cost to the operation of vehicles tasked with keeping Britain trading, and FTA is concerned that the funding released by the Chancellor today will mean that operators will continue to incur these unreasonable costs at a time of extreme trading pressure.
“More could and should have been done to help the logistics sector at such a critical time in the nation’s trading history. It is a lost opportunity,” he added.
However, “the freeze on the Heavy Goods Vehicle HGV VED for 2019-20 is to be welcomed,” said Snelling. The “FTA is particularly pleased to hear that the government is set to maintain the difference between alternative and main road fuel duty rates until 2032. This will support the de-carbonisation of the UK transport sector and give operators confidence to invest in alternatively fuelled vehicles,” he said.