Kevin Buchanan, the newly-appointed group managing director of pallet network Pall-Ex, has commented favourably on the Chancellor's recent announcement to invest £15bn in better roads - but is seeking a commitment to wider investment from the govenment.
“Successive governments have failed to deliver the major investment that has been required across our road networks," he said. "Road haulage is the most common method for moving goods in the UK, and the strength of the industry is intrinsically linked and critically important to the health and growth of the wider economy.
“Here at Pall-Ex we are firmly on the side of the hauliers. We understand the many pressures, such as Euro legislation, fuel costs and driver CPC requirements, which are forced upon transport providers. The sector needs to be nurtured and supported for the good of the overall economy.
“This level of budget commitment to road improvements is a strategy that we welcome. However, a wide range of investment is needed, in people and in the sector as a whole. With further, comprehensive support, this strategy would have the potential to improve the prosperity of the haulage industry, and therefore the UK economy as a whole.”
ADVANCED SUPPLY CHAIN COMMENT
Meanwhile, Mike Danby, CEO of Bradford-based Advanced Supply Chain, one of the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 companies to inspire Britain’, said: “The announcement of the biggest road building plan in a generation, £15bn worth will go some way to improving British transport infrastructure - a crucial element of a successful economy. Roads have suffered from poor investment for too long.
“It will be interesting to see how this breaks down regionally, and if the Government plays politics with where the money will be spent rather than focusing the money where it is truly needed. We have also been promised road improvements by many past governments that have never come to fruition.
“Road haulage can unlock the potential of our economy. There is however a crippling shortage of drivers for the sector and this is causing more strain on the economy in the short-term than a lack of spending on roads. It would be great to see a government-backed training programme for HGV drivers.”