I hope that the latest success on the part of FairFuel UK has, at last, laid to rest the often heard claim that the haulage industry doesn’t have a voice with government.
This campaign, which is supported directly by the RHA together with the FTA and RAC, has been spectacularly successful and has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that a well organised political and media campaign can change government policy. In fact, it can not only change it but change it in an area that has always been very difficult – taxation. Having said that, we know that the government is in deep financial water and there has to be the real prospect of another increase being proposed.
I can only hope that the sceptics will accept that, next time, they should put their weight behind the campaign, write to their MP and come down to Parliament to ensure that our voice gets louder still. Put simply, every haulier in the country is now saving hundreds of pounds per vehicle per month and that is a direct consequence of FairFuel UK. I know there are those who will say that non-members get the benefit as much as members, but that is the price we pay for all our lobbying and campaigning, so I urge all members to encourage any operator they know who is not a member to get themselves into the RHA.
As we move into the Olympics period, we have to recognise that the task of keeping London and the rest of the UK moving and the planning required in the run-up to the Olympics has been as important as the event itself.
Many stakeholder organisations have been involved in the development of the transport strategy and the RHA’s voice has been instrumental from the onset. While the Olympic Games 2012 offer opportunities for businesses, road closures during the Games have the potential to disrupt deliveries to and by businesses operating in London.
No traffic, other than designated Olympic Route Network (ORN) traffic and emergency vehicles, will be given access to Games Lanes on roads to the Olympic venues between specific hours throughout the duration of the Games and for a short period before and after.
Amid all the UK scrutiny of the £9.3bn budget, the security fears and the danger of transport meltdown, has the RHA done all it possibly can to help its members and the wider transport sector? Well, the answer is a definitive yes. Peter Hendy, the Commissioner for Transport in London, regularly pours praise on our Association relating to our input which has helped Transport for London (TfL) formulate its final transport plans.
We have briefed and encouraged members to plan and communicate with their customer base. And, to help facilitate this, we have enabled all of the latest updates from TfL to be made available on our website. We all hope that the Games will be an unparalleled success.