Policy success stories

The RHA lobbies government on behalf of the road transport industry. Our membership includes small to medium-sized businesses, as well as the vast majority of the UK’S contract haulage and logistics operators – in fact, more than 80 of the Motor Transport Top 100 road transport operators are RHA members.

Our sector is an essential service industry, fundamental to economic success. It is IT-driven, working to demanding service levels and most people who work in the industry are qualified. It is also an industry that has continued to strengthen its safety record and has radically reduced its environmental impact.

The RHA staff has extensive experience of the industry but vital its work is the continuing engagement with members, providing opinions and evidence. To quote Peter Barber, The RHA chairman from 2013 – 2015: “The RHA works best when it works with members.”

We draw feedback from members through day-to-day contact, in meetings and in response to weekly campaigning emails and our award winning magazine, Roadway.

Contact with government and its agencies is constant and comprehensive, addressing everything from specialist points of detail to major industry issues. By the nature of the relationship, not all of this contact is publicised but the RHA maintains a high degree of information, transparency and accountability to its members.

A successful track record

We can highlight many successes, including:

Fuel duty

FairFuelUK is an alliance of the RHA and others that brings together the haulage sector and the voting power of the motoring public to change HM Treasury’s policy on road fuel duty and it has been an outstanding public policy success of the 2010-2015 Parliament. It has achieved savings in fuel duty against the 2010 plan totalling more than £6,000 for a typical 44-tonne truck.

A founder-member of FairFuelUK, the RHA is an active supporter and provider of policy input, and sponsored the report by the independent research body NIESR which was central to demonstrating to the Treasury the link between fuel duty rates, economic growth and employment.

HGV road user levy

This levy was introduced in April 2014 as a result of an exemplary co-operation between a trade association and government. The involvement of the RHA was essential, we believe, to the levy being introduced and achieved in a way that was acceptable to the industry.

The levy means that, for the first time foreign trucks pay to use the UK road network. It narrows the taxation gap between UK and foreign-registered vehicles to the maximum amount permissible in this area under EU law and it increases the intelligence available to enforcement authorities.

Increase in speed limits

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The increase in the HGV speed limit on single carriageway roads in England and Wales on April 6 2015, from 40 to 50 mph for vehicles above 7.5 tonnes, was the result of strong and sustained lobbying from the RHA in this area. In the two years leading up to the decision, we received robust evidence from members which strengthened our case. The announcement was made by logistics minister Claire Perry at a media event organised by an RHA member company, reflecting the central role of the RHA in pressing this case.

Shortly after that, the government announced the welcome increase in the dual carriageway speed limit from 50 mph to 60 mph (although the 56 mph speed limiter regulation remains).

In Scotland, similar lobbying by the RHA has led to the introduction of a three-year trial of a 50 mph speed limit on the A9.

Jobcentre Plus work experience placement

Not all of our discussions with government and its agencies relate to regulations. We have been working with the Department for Work and Pensions, for example, and that has led to a nationwide project between the RHA and Jobcentre Plus to promote the industry and to get more job seekers into employment. The scheme was proposed by the RHA in November 2014, tested in Southampton in February 2015 and following the success of this pilot scheme is set for a national launch in June 2015.

Comment

Members are invited to comment by emailing campaigning@rha.uk.net