RHA Digest March 2024

An image of a UK dual carriageway with HGV's travelling in both directions in autumn

11th March 2024

RHA welcomes A66 Trans-Pennine improvement scheme

The RHA welcomes the Planning Inspectorate announcement that the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine improvement scheme can go ahead. This scheme will see an investment of £1.3bn to ensure 50 miles of carriageway is duelled in its entirety.

The A66 is the key strategic road link between the M6 and the A1 for businesses in Cumbria and North Yorkshire. We therefore welcome that investment is being made to ensure that this link is fit for purpose. We look forward to seeing a clear timetable for construction in due course.

Commenting on the announcement, RHA Policy Lead, James Barwise said:

“HGVs account for a quarter of all traffic on this stretch of the A66 and any delays to journeys can have a negative effect on businesses, including lost working time and missed shipment slots. This welcome investment in the A66 is not only a vote of confidence in our road network, but in the UK’s road haulage sector too.

“We’re looking forward to working with National Highways in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that disruption from construction works to local business is kept to a minimum. We will continue to explore further ways in which the scheme can support the needs of the industry including plans for sufficient truck parking and rest areas to meet the needs of professional drivers.”

12th March 2024

RHA welcomes clampdown on late payments

With reference to an article in The Times today (Tuesday 12 March): https://bit.ly/3wSjKij

Late payment practices are a significant strain on small businesses including commercial vehicle operators who often have to pay their suppliers and other bills on time whilst facing long periods to be paid.

We are pleased to see recent Government legislation meaning companies with public sector contracts have to abide by 30-day payment terms within their supply chains for that specific work.

This will be extended to all the suppliers used by companies as a condition for bidding for large public contracts from April. More needs to be done but this is a step in the right direction.


12th March 2024

RHA recognised by Women in Transport in their Equity Index report

The RHA has been recognised by Women in Transport for its equity in the workplace.

Women in Transport released its Equity Index 2023 today (Monday 11 March). The report looked at factors such as pay equality, career development and representative leadership and more.

The index shows that despite efforts by organisations, much more can be done in the transport sector overall to improve gender equality.

The RHA was presented with a certificate by Women in Transport alongside other industry leaders in equity.

RHA HR Director Laura Taylor said, “We are thrilled to announce our recognition in the Women in Transport’s Equity Index Report, marking a significant step in the right direction towards achieving gender equity within the RHA.

“While we acknowledge the journey ahead in embracing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in our industry is a long one, we are fortunate to collaborate with organisations like Women in Transport, and inspirational figures such as Jo Major to help us on our journey.

“The foundation of progress lies in robust, actionable data, and for this, we thank Women in Transport and Sue Terpilowski for their hard work on the Equity Index Report. We strongly encourage all our members to explore this report and participate in the Index for 2024, as we collectively drive towards a more equitable future.”

Women in Transport is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to maximise gender equality in transport.

More information about Women in Transport can be found HERE.

You can read the Equity Index 2023 HERE.

20th March 2024


The RHA welcomes the Scottish Government’s HGV Decarbonisation Pathway as a pragmatic first step to achieve net zero.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Fiona Hyslop announced the pathway which sets out the four challenges posed by a move to zero emission trucks, and how to address these:

· energy infrastructure
· financial models
· confidence in technological and commercial change
· workforce skills

The RHA alongside key industry stakeholders have developed these actions to help the sector transition to net zero. Dubbed ‘The Zero-Emission Truck Taskforce’, the RHA and others built a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities operators will face when making the transition.

RHA Policy Lead for Environment and Vehicles, Chris Ashley said:

“This is a welcome first step for transitioning to net zero and marks an important moment in the journey towards decarbonisation.

“Decarbonising lorries whilst maintaining the high levels of service the public expect is complex with many structural barriers, such as financing the transition and providing the required energy infrastructure.

“The Pathway allows Scottish authorities and industry to start navigating the difficult issues that lie ahead and a focus to ensure that businesses, including our vital small businesses, feel supported.”

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Fiona Hyslop told attendees of the Net Zero Scotland Projects Conference that “This partnership with road haulage, manufacturing, energy, government, union, and commercial finance sectors is absolutely key to accelerating the transition towards zero-emission trucks.

“Scotland’s economy – and society as a whole – rely on goods being moved with speed and efficiency, but these freight movements emit substantial greenhouse gases. We have worked collectively to understand and address the hurdles to transition.

22nd March 2024

Direct Vision Standard – an update

Improving safety on London’s roads is paramount for the logistics industry and, in recent years, significant investment in driver training, technical improvements to vehicles and community engagement has taken place. The RHA, Logistics UK and the Association of International Courier and Express Services (AICES) remain committed to working with Transport for London (TfL) on the safety agenda.

Following feedback from the sector, we asked TfL at a meeting on 14 March to clarify the wording of the technical specifications accompanying the Progressive Safe System, to ensure incorrect warnings to drivers are eliminated. We also asked TfL to consider extending the grace period to allow time for any changes to bed in.

We welcome TfL’s willingness to listen and we will continue our discussions with them. We will keep members updated as and when we have more information.

28th March 2024

Local Elections – RHA calls for sector support from combined authorities

The RHA is calling on combined authority mayoral candidates to support the transport sector ahead of local elections in England.

The Association has issued a number of asks in the lead up to the elections on 2 May through their Driving Up Growth: Combined Authorities and the RHA manifesto.

RHA asks on transport plans:

Clear and coherent road freight strategies are developed in consultation with the industry, that support businesses and the transition to Net Zero.

Educate constituent authorities and officials on the importance, role and operations of the road haulage and coach industries, and ensure full consultation and collaboration on any polices that would affect operations e.g. air quality controls, traffic congestion measures, road safety policies.

Allocation of devolved transport funding to create a defined list of local road improvements to support schemes that improve important regional freight corridors.

RHA asks on skills:

In line with a skills strategy that identifies the opportunities that the road transport industry creates for skilled, well-paying jobs, encourage education providers to support the courses and qualifications needed by the road haulage industry in their area.

To use the Adult Education Budget to support the funding of heavy goods vehicle mechanics courses, including assistance with the purchase of equipment.

Bootcamps – continue to provide Cat C bootcamps for those looking to join the industry and introduce new bootcamps for Cat D licences, tyre fitters and vehicle inspection.

Richard Smith, RHA Managing Director, said:

“Combined Authorities play a crucial role in strategic planning, particularly in transportation, skills and business support.

“It’s essential they continue to collaborate with the haulage and coach sectors, and other key players to drive regional and national economic growth.”

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