Ahead of the Scottish Budget for 2024 to 2025, Martin Reid, RHA Policy Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has delivered the RHA’s submission to the Scottish Government.

He said the road transport industry (HGV, coach, and van operators) is critical to the supply chain and economic growth. Our industry faces significant pressure from both cost increases including wage, fuel, and energy costs and shortages of drivers, technicians, vehicles, and parts.

The costs of operating an HGV have increased by 9% excluding fuel over the last 12 months. The Government must focus on stability, long-term growth, and targeted support to address the major challenges the industry faces, the vast majority of which involves small businesses operating a fleet of less than six vehicles and with average margins of 2%.

In the UK Government’s Spring Budget, we were pleased to see the continued fuel duty freeze and 5p per litre cut. This is an important step to help reduce costs and control inflation. The continued freeze on Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for HGVs for 2023-24 is welcome and much needed for our industry.

We were disappointed to see the increase in corporation tax from 1 April as well as the return of the HGV Levy from August – a tax targeted at the road freight industry that economic growth in the UK relies upon.

In the lead up to the Scottish budget on 19 December we ask the following of the Scottish Government:

  • Honour existing commitments on critical infrastructure and increase investment to develop the strategic road network, including ferry routes.
  • Rationalise HGV speed limits to match the rest of the UK.
  • Support reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, to provide greater flexibility for skills training.
  • Reduce the disparity in skills funding with England, and therefore the competitive disadvantage Scottish hauliers face when recruiting and planning for the future.
  • Reform planning to support the creation of safe and secure lorry and coach parking facilities in Scotland.

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