With an election now on our doorstep, businesses throughout the United Kingdom will be looking to the nation’s political leaders for a clear, concise blueprint for the way ahead. Our members and our industry want leaders to have a debate and ultimately, a plan in place to get the UK economy performing at its highest levels, delivering sustainable growth, and benefitting society.

Our industry contributes £13.5bn to the UK economy each year. It’s also true that 98% of all food and agricultural products are transported by road freight. Coaches carry millions of visitors to destinations and attractions in the UK and elsewhere daily and coach tourism alone contributes over £8bn to the economy. The people of our industry are a large and motivated electorate. The size, growth and performance of the UK economy and the size, growth and performance of the road transport and commercial vehicle industry (haulage and coaches) are directly linked. We’re an economic enabler that plays a key role in keeping people and goods moving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The next occupants of Governmental office will need to listen to the voices and concerns of industry seriously when planning the way ahead. Through our association with other trade bodies we’re calling for the creation of a dedicated logistics minister in the next government to work alongside industry. Our sector is facing a number of challenges, and we’re united in wanting industry to collaborate with leaders who understand the vital part we play in creating jobs and keeping Britain’s supply-chain moving. Close government collaboration with industry is key to ensuring a resilient UK supply chain. Our sector has huge potential for delivering economic growth. Government and industry can work alongside us to foster future growth, improve standards, and chart a road map on the journey to net zero.

Commercial vehicle drivers are the backbone of our economy. It’s crucial that they’ve access to adequate safe and secure parking and facilities. Tackling freight crime must be a priority for decision makers going forward if drivers are to carry out their critical role effectively and safely. Road haulage and coach tourism are critical to the economy. Long-term infrastructure investment - specifically the strategic road network, is therefore absolutely vital to the economy and the frictionless movement of goods.

We’re determined to work with others to ensure that our industry has access to the skills it needs too. Addressing industry skills gaps will require collaboration to attract, train, and retain talent.

As this campaign progresses, we’ll continue to highlight our six priorities (as outlined in our manifesto.) It’s important to our members that the issues that matter most to them are meaningfully considered and discussed. We look forward to studying and analysing the proposals the various parties have for our industry.

Whatever the outcome of the election, we stand ready to engage and collaborate with government and stakeholders across society. As the UK’s largest dedicated trade association representing HGVs, LGVs and coaches, we will continue to be a loud voice for our sector and we look forward to continuing the conversation on the way ahead in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Richard Smith, MD, Road Haulage Association