Lockhart backs call for haulage taskforce

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has joined with colleagues from across the House of Commons in calling for the Government to create a Road Haulage Taskforce, to provide targeted and timely response to a range of challenges facing the industry at this time.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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Carla Lockhart said:

“89% of all goods transported by land in the UK are moved directly by road, including 98% of food, agricultural and consumer products. Our economy is heavily dependent on a responsive, reliable road haulage industry. Households across the UK rely on road haulage for everyday goods needed and enjoyed in every home.

The sector is facing huge challenges at this time, not least in relation to the ongoing inflated price of fuel. In an industry where margin is small, the increased cost of fuel is crippling haulage firms – from the biggest operators with hundreds of lorries on the road, to the self-employed haulier with one lorry. The longer the increase in cost of filling a lorry with fuel continues, the more challenging it is across the industry to survive.

The Government must act quickly on fuel duty and VAT on fuel upon the election of a new Prime Minister. It is vital to industry as well as families across the UK that action is taken to alleviate price pressures at the pump. In terms of haulage, we also need Government to act to ensure the safety and wellbeing of drivers. Nationally, there are an estimated 11,000 shortage of lorry parking spaces. Commercial vehicle drivers are the backbone of our economy, yet every day they are up against a lack of safe and secure parking and forced to take their rest periods in their vehicles at the side of the road with no access to hygiene facilities. It isn’t good enough for people who are keeping the UK moving on a daily basis.

Alongside other MPs from across the political spectrum, I am urging the Government to create a Taskforce to tackle these problems to ensure our lorry drivers and haulage companies can survive and carry out their work in a profitable and safe way. We need action now.”

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