2020 Budget doesn’t tackle the Coronavirus threat to logistics and the supply chain

11th March 2020

The RHA is concerned that the Budget, released today, doesn’t tackle the crisis caused by Coronavirus.

Also known as COVID-19, the illness is threatening many logistics businesses and the greater supply chain which is vital for the UK economy.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “This feels like a sticking plaster to cover the potentially gaping wound of Covid-19.

"The money is welcome to support struggling small businesses but is it enough to save some from going to the wall.

"Many are worried about volumes dropping by half and with the prospect of drivers and other staff being off sick for long periods – the UK supply chain is under threat.”

“Of course, we welcome the freeze on fuel duty for the tenth year in a succession,” he continued: “However, the announcement that the tax relief on red diesel will be abolished in 2022 will come as a blow to the operators of refrigerated trailers.

"They’re the ones responsible for the movement of millions of tonnes of foodstuffs each year – both within the UK and to and from the European mainland.

“The Chancellor’s claim that this will not take effect for two years ‘giving businesses time to prepare’ is helpful, but does not take account of the possibilities to use low emission or low carbon fuels.

"We shall be working with the Government and the sector to explore alternatives that support environmental objectives and the supply chain.”

All road users will be pleased with the funding for more than 4,000 miles of road, as well as a £2.5bn pothole fund over five years - enough to fill 50 million potholes.

“While good news, this work must be undertaken as soon as possible,” Richard continued.

“We’re just coming out of a long, wet winter. The better weather provides the perfect opportunity to get the roads fit for the job, rather than wait until the problems get worse as does the weather.”

For those operators who undertake the journey between the West Country and the rest of the UK on a regular basis, the Chancellor’s announcement to upgrade the A303 at Stonehenge - including a possible tunnel, comes as very welcome news and the RHA looks forward to seeing the details as soon as they become available.

-ENDS-