Like most businesses, we always keep an eye on the outcomes of a new budget, however this year we were particularly pleased to see some changes that sound particularly positive for the haulage industry.
From a freeze on fuel duty to new plans to make UK freight more efficient and environmentally-friendly than ever before, here’s a rundown of the most interesting things we found in the Autumn Budget 2017:
- Fuel duty – A fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars that was set for April 2018 has now been scrapped, meaning that fuel duty will now be frozen again for the eighth year running. This is expected to save the average driver £160 per year, making up total savings of £850 since the first freeze in 2011.
- Air quality – The government will launch a £220 Clean Air fund to give local authorities the opportunity to help individuals and businesses to improve air quality in the most polluted areas.
- VED – As well as fuel duty, both the Heavy Good Vehicle VED and Road User Levy rates will be frozen from April 2018. The government has also announced that it will be looking into updating the existing Road User Levy, with input from industry leaders, to work on ways to reward hauliers who are improving air quality with efficient road use and route-planning.
- Infrastructure – Lots of promising announcements have been made regarding UK infrastructure in the budget, including a huge increase in public investment that will bring the total amount up to £24 billion. This extra funding is hoped to go towards utilising new technologies to modernise transport, supporting transport between cities by improving connectivity and reducing congestion, and dedicating £45 million to tackling some 900,000 potholes on UK roads. A £1.7 billion NPIF fund will focus on intra-city transport, split between competition for transport projects and allocation on a per capita basis to the UK’s eight metro mayors to allow them to invest in transport priorities in areas such as greater Manchester and Liverpool.
- Freight Commission Study – As part of a National Infrastructure Commission Study, there will be an NIC study into freight infrastructure published in Spring 2019. This will include a look into urban congestion and decarbonisation as well as the ways the industry can harness new technology, such as smart communication tech that allows trucks to platoon, or travel in convoy.
Overall, these seem like positive changes for the industry and we believe the future looks bright for UK hauliers based on these plans. We’re particularly pleased with the emphasis on environmentalism in freight. At Waller Transport, we already aim to make best use of capacity within carriers scheduled to transport goods, allowing us to avoid adding to the number of vehicles on the road through the return loads model. With the forthcoming areas of government investment, we look forward to continuing our work on lowering emissions and delivering the most efficient, environmentally-friendly service to our customers, while also ensuring cost and high quality customer service remain front of mind. Get in touch to find out more about our services and how we generate efficiencies.