Trade groups lay out general election priorities

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Thursday 30 May 2024

Transport trade associations have responded to the decision by prime minister Rishi Sunak to call a gen­eral election for 4 July by outlining their key priorities for the industry.

“Now that the general election campaign is here, we look forward to studying and analysing the pro­posals the various parties have for our industry,” said Richard Smith, managing director of the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

“The people of our industry, across the road haul­age, commercial vehicle, and road transport sector, are a large and motivated electorate. We are an eco­nomic enabler that plays a key role in keeping goods and people moving throughout the United Kingdom.

“Whoever forms the next government will need to listen to the voices and concerns of industry seri­ously when planning for the future. Our members want to collaborate with decision-makers who un­derstand the vital part our sector plays in driving growth and keeping Britain’s supply-chain moving.”

RHA highlighted six key priority areas for the next government to consider, which it said it would be ‘spotlighting’ during the course of the election cam­paign: regular engagement and collaboration with the industry, skills reform, roads investment, driver facilities and safer parking, measures to support economic growth, and a net zero roadmap.

“It’s important to our members and the industry that that these issues are meaningfully considered and discussed,” said Mr Smith.

“We look forward to continuing that conversa­tion.”

Meanwhile, Logistics UK responded to the prime minister’s announcement by reiterating its call for the appointment of a dedicated minister for logis­tics and supply chain, urging all political parties to include the policy in their election manifestos.

“Whether manufacturing or retail, healthcare or education, every part of our economy relies upon logistics to provide all the goods needed to generate busi­ness and growth,” said Logistics UK chief executive David Wells.

He added: “The public under­stands how vital logistics is and, rightly, does not think the govern­ment is doing enough to support the industry…

“The establishment of a cross-Whitehall Logistics Produc­tivity Forum, led by a dedicated logistics and supply chain gov­ernment minister, would ensure that benefits from our sector can be delivered to the whole econ­omy.”

The organisation’s 2024 manifesto calls for measures in­cluding skills partnerships and reforms to funding models “to ensure a continued pipeline of talent is attracted to the sector”; continued support for the aware­ness-raising Generation Logis­tics campaign; innovative and integrated infrastructure and investment in a national logis­tics network; a fair transition to a green economy with an agreed net zero roadmap; and reduced border friction through new and expanded trading relationships with Europe and the wider world.