Coronavirus – what your Association is doing

Coronavirus – what your Association is doing

06 Mar 2020 Posted By Josh Reynolds

Dear Member,

The global pandemic of Coronavirus has created uncertainty for governments, individuals and businesses worldwide. In the UK it is our industry that is critical in maintaining the flow of food, medicines and other essential goods. It is imperative that our wheels keep turning for the benefit of all society.

I am writing to reassure you that whilst we are continually monitoring advice from government and acting accordingly, the RHA is operating as usual. Essential member services such as our helpdesk continues to operate and our member briefings, training courses, online shop and tachograph functions are all very much open for business.

We have a very robust continuity plan which will ensure all of these essential offerings are maintained throughout this crisis. As an example, one of the measures includes the ability to join our meetings, member briefings and training courses via video link.

Some of our members will be experiencing artificial peaks in work, particularly those working in the food supply-chain. Regrettably the impact for others may be catastrophic, particularly those involved in the carriage of equipment for the sporting and events industry, which has been decimated by cancellations.

As this situation evolves it is imperative that we can accurately relay anonymous information back to government so that they can provide support where it is needed the most. You can provide your views by emailing [email protected]. Please include the number of employees and fleet size.

The measures announced last week to support UK’s businesses are not enough for our industry. Immediate and direct intervention from government is required to ensure transport businesses survive. Over the weekend, I spoke with the Secretary of State for Transport, requesting a radical package of measures from government including:

  • Immediate cashflow injections
  • Enforced payment holidays with leasing companies, banks and fuel suppliers
  • Measures to protect employees’ wages to safeguard our critical driver workforce for when volume increases
  • Deferment of VAT, income tax, business rates and corporation tax
  • Relaxation of PAYE
  • Road fund license reductions
  • Deferment of the implementation of Clean Air Zones rules by at least six months
  • Deferment of the Direct Vision Standards in London by at least six months
  • Relaxing lorry tolls on the M6 and others
  • Suspension of the London Lorry Control Scheme and Low Emission Zone charges
  • Fuel duty reductions for hauliers
  • Funded relief vehicles to replace those being decontaminated
  • The ability to quickly relax drivers’ hours regulations in order to ensure a reduced driver workforce, caused by sickness, can maintain demand. Radical measures should include increased driving time and relaxing weekly and fortnightly rest requirements

We will be providing regular information and updates on this unrolling situation and you can access this first and foremost via our app, RoadwayLive, via our website and our social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.

Richard Burnett
Chief Executive
Road Haulage Association

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