RHA makes wish list for Autumn Statement
RHA has written to the government with a number of suggestions of how it can support the coach and wider transport industry in the upcoming Autumn Statement.
The trade body has written to HM Treasury with ways it can help support the coach, truck and van industries, which it says keeps Britain moving. It suggests the government provides a fiscal incentive through an emissions-linked rebate to encourage a move to low carbon fuels, such as HVO for coaches. It asks the government commits to creating a commercial vehicle decarbonisation roadmap that supports investments and accommodates the diverse nature of coach operations.
RHA asks for a review of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) and their effectiveness in improving air quality. It seeks a commitment to learning the lessons from CAZs’ implementation and ending schemes where appropriate levels have been met.
In the letter, RHA emphasises the skills shortage in the road transport sector is a significant issue. It calls for a reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, to provide greater flexibility for skills training and to encourage the take up of motor vehicle mechanic apprenticeships by increasing the funding band available to at least £23,000. It suggests extending the skills bootcamp that has eased the HGV driver shortage to include bus and coach licence training and entry level heavy vehicle technician training such as tyre fitting and vehicle inspections.
RHA has asked the government to commit to no increase in fuel duty for diesel for a further two years.
It also suggests the government provides increased funding for safe and secure coach parking facilities. Nationally, the RHA estimates an 11,000 shortage of lorry and coach parking spaces. It has asked for the establishment of a cross-departmental taskforce to review existing driver facilities and work with industry, operators and local authorities on a viable long-term solution to increase available facilities across the country.
The Autumn Statement is due to be announced on 22 November.