Roads Minister assures government support at RHA Parliamentary Reception
Speaking at the RHA Parliamentary Reception, Roads Minister Guy Opperman MP paid tribute to the industry in a keynote speech and said operators could rely on the support of the government.
More than 200 guests attended the Parliamentary Reception at the Palace of Westminster, including coach operators, stakeholders and parliamentarians, as well as 60 MPs.
“We are investing massively in our roads; we are repurposing money that was going to go on the second leg of HS2 into infrastructure and roads” – Guy Opperman, Roads Minister
Guy Opperman said: “We are investing massively in our roads; we are repurposing money that was going to go on the second leg of HS2 into infrastructure and roads. There is £8.3billion going into pothole and road repairs.”
He added that the Government has earmarked extensive investment in Network North to upgrade and improve major road networks and said firms should see transformational change over the next few years.
The minister acknowledged the challenges operators face with rising costs and pledged to support the industry on its key priorities: “We will support you on decarbonisation, we will support you on driver welfare and we will support you on people. But most of all we will support you by driving forward an economy that is regenerating in a way that the goods and services that you are transporting are going to find a home and that your businesses will thrive.”
Shadow Minister for Wales, Jessica Morden MP urged MPs to visit commercial vehicle operators to better understand the needs of the industry.
She echoed the RHA’s call for Apprenticeship Levy reform to help firms ‘better introduce young people and those making career switches into the logistics industry’.
She said: “There’s much more we can do in terms of having an industrial strategy with road haulage, with a strong partnership between business, government and trade unions to provide the certainty that the industry needs.”
Moreton Cullimore, RHA chair said: “Since the pandemic there’s been real recognition about the importance of the road haulage and coach industry.”