A Triple Whammy - The RHA’s campaigning in 2022
Executive Director - Policy and Public Affairs, Rod McKenzie, outlines the RHA's policy aims for 2022.
The political scene in the UK is increasingly polarised, often angrier and more confrontational that we’ve seen in the past. Indeed, there’s an argument than the United Kingdom has never been so dis-united. This plays into the world in which the RHA operates, representing our coach, van and freight members, their interests and concerns.
We need to broaden our political support, deepen relationships and extend our influence even more. One in seven of MPs at Westminster attended our parliamentary event last year – not only was this a record for us but clear evidence that all parties now understand the challenges we face.
We aim to do this in 2022 by concentrating our campaigning across three big themes: skills, facilities and the environment.
Skills is all about the ongoing driver shortage which we currently estimate at 85,000. There's been some encouraging moves from the government on this, not least the skills bootcamps idea but what more can we do to build on our original 12-point plan for tackling the shortage. We’re looking to campaign for even greater visibility by the public and politicians and action points to further tackle it. Our Policy lead on the issue is Sally Gilson.
Facilities – is all about the retention issue. Once drivers join our industry, assuming their pay is appropriate, the reason most leave is poor driver facilities. No-where to park safely, no adequate toilet, washing and food facilities and poor treatment while making deliveries. We need to change the “they don’t matter” culture which seems to infect local authority and national government planning decisions and make our driver facilities the envy of the world – not the shame of it. Tom Cornwell will lead on this issue for the RHA.
The environment is a massive issue for us: The aftermath of COP26, the projected end of heavy diesel coaches and lorries and the pathway to that date. We need to work with the manufacturers on this and explain that a logical step by step approach is needed if we are to avoid a disastrous cliff-edge with stranded assets littering the UK. The life cycle of a lorry, or coach, needs to be taken into account. Chris Ashley, architect of our environmental policy, will lead. We’ll keep you posted through the year on the progress of all these three campaigns.
You, as our members, are also very much involved. We would like to hear your thoughts and possible solutions. We would encourage you to contact your MPs or other political representatives on any or all of these issues and you can do so through our website here.
Last year many people in the UK discovered how vital transport supply chains are to us all: in 2022 we must persuade them that we all have a stake in solving the problems our industry faces.