RHA updates on Windsor Framework SPS checks and HS2 postponement

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Statement from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) on the Windsor Framework SPS checks “Following the implementation of the Windsor Framework SPS checks this week, we continue to take soundings from our members and other key stakeholders on how the changes affect their business and Northern Ireland’s supply chain. 

Some hauliers have reported to us that they are experiencing delays due to errors made by their customers. Problems with paperwork ultimately affect the haulier who suffers the delay and the associated costs, which can be considerable and result in knock-on effects on the wider supply chain.

We will continue to reflect our members’ and the industry’s first-hand experiences to aid the collective learning process of government departments, key stakeholders and other trade associations.

We are pleased that the Government has noted some of the issues our members have raised around groupage movements by agreeing to set up a working group made up of senior civil servants and the wider logistics community.

It is only through this collaborative approach that we will all learn the issues and derive the solutions which in turn will support Northern Ireland’s supply chain and its consumers.”

Meanwhile, the RHA welcomed Prime Minister’s road investment pledges for the North and Midlands

The RHA has acknowledged Rishi Sunak’s pledge that some funds from the scrapped HS2 Birmingham to Manchester line will be directed to improving roads. The Prime Minister announced Network North at the Conservative Party Conference to replace the scheme.

Declan Pang, RHA Director of Public Affairs & Policy, England, said: “We welcome the investment into the A1, A2, A5, M6 and A75, alongside more than 70 other road schemes that were announced. Together with increased funding for road maintenance, this will help the commercial vehicle sector continue to keep Britain moving, and we await publication of the timetables for completion of these schemes.”

With the skills agenda so important to the future of the road transport industry, on the announcement regarding post-16 education, he said: “It was good to hear the Prime Minister speaking about equality of esteem for vocational education but we have concerns about the abolition of T-levels. The new Advanced British Standard must ensure young people are invested in their education post-16 and connected to jobs for the future. Any change which puts the focus purely back on academic, classroom learning where not all children thrive would be a backward step. It is vital that the high-quality vocational training required for working in the road transport industry is available to young people.”

He said the RHA was disappointed not to hear of any reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy and reiterates for it to be replaced with a Skills Levy which would offer wider training choices for the commercial vehicle sector.