The next government must commit to freezing fuel duty and suspending the HGV levy to protect the industry and prevent more hauliers from collapsing, according to the RHA.

Following the recent administration of Cartwright Bros, a growing number of companies facing similar fates, the trade association expressed concern over the frequency of such occurrences.

Last year, nearly 500 haulage firms went out of business, with almost 170 already shuttering their operations in 2024. Notable closures include Linkline Transport, Rapid Response Transport, OPX Logistics, and Hoddesdon Distribution.

The RHA highlighted that higher interest rates and escalating running costs have increased the financial burden on haulage businesses compared to the previous year.

“These are challenging times for many operators in our industry due to rising costs and increased regulations,” said RHA Managing Director Richard Smith.

“When costs increase, goods become more expensive. We emphasized in our recent manifesto that the next government must alleviate the tax burden on the industry to support economic growth. Therefore, we urge the next government to commit to continuing the fuel duty freeze.

“We’re also calling for the suspension of the HGV levy. These would be significant steps to show early on that the next government supports drivers and the commercial vehicle industry.”

Smith added, “Our sector is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the UK. As regulations grow, compliance becomes more expensive for businesses. We see different and often contradictory regulations in towns and cities across the country, with red tape at our borders.

“We want the next government to conduct a comprehensive review of road freight regulations to simplify and significantly reduce them.”

Cartwright Bros cited numerous “huge challenges” leading to its downfall, including rising diesel prices, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, HGV driver shortages caused by Brexit, government red tape, and the war in Ukraine.

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