As our industry faces unique challenges on a number of fronts, there’s much work happening and much work to do.

In addressing these challenges, Government and industry can work collaboratively to improve standards, foster future growth and chart a detailed road map on the journey to net zero. Decision-makers listening to and working with industry voices will be necessary when tackling skills shortages and reforming planning rules for the vital infrastructure and facilities projects needed throughout the country.

As the largest dedicated trade association in the UK representing HGV, LGV and coaches, we campaign not only at elections, but all year round. We’ve been clear that close government collaboration with industry (locally and nationally) is the key to ensuring the supply chain remains resilient.

Collaboration is also the key in our combined industry campaigning efforts. It’s vital that we and the other transport and logistics associations band together on the mutual issues our respective members face. Working together means we can collectively hone and target our support to tackle short-term and long-term industry priorities.

In recent times, we in the RHA have campaigned with other trade bodies in various areas. We formed ALG: Abnormal Loads Group with other bodies to co-ordinate efforts at tackling inconsistencies with the policing of abnormal loads. This work is ongoing and it’s serving our members well. With London’s Direct Vision Standard too, we’ve sought clarity from the outset and have worked collectively with other trade associations and stakeholders to seek further clarifications and flexibility from TfL on new specifications. We worked with Loughborough University who defined the new Progressive Safe System standard; we asked them to publish an explainer document which answers many of the technical specification questions to give hauliers more confidence and certainty to invest in kit.

Earlier this year, we joined forces to work closer under the ‘Alliance of Logistics Trade Associations’ (ALTA) banner. Each organisation in this alliance is bringing their own specific expertise, unique perspectives and knowledge to the group. Collaboration between trade associations has improved as we continue to evolve to better support our respective members.

As part of this work, we teamed up with ten other logistics and road transport trade associations to call on the next government to appoint a dedicated minister for our sector. There’s no more critical time to have a dedicated minister representing our sector in government. With record numbers of businesses going bust last year and others potentially facing up to that reality due to increased cost pressures, operators want to know that the key decision makers are listening to their concerns. We believe that working alongside industry is essential when decision-makers are planning for the future of our sector.

Today we repeat our ask of whoever the Prime Minister is on 5 July to appoint a dedicated minister. Having a voice in the room, working across departments at the heart of Government would send a message that government acknowledges the key role our member firms play in enabling productivity and growth throughout the UK.

HGVs, LVGs and Coaches are vital to the economic and social wellbeing of society, and we want to collaborate with policy makers who understand the important role we play in creating jobs and keeping Britain’s supply-chain moving. Collaboration will be crucial if we’re to address current and future challenges and unlock the full potential for our sector to drive the economy.

Richard Smith, MD, RHA