The Budget announcement of a continued freeze on fuel duty will assist the logistics sector in its move to decarbonisation by 2050, according to business group Logistics UK. As Elizabeth de Jong, the organisation’s policy director explains, the announcement will enable businesses to make the switch to alternatively fuelled vehicles more smoothly.
“The impact of the pandemic on the economy, and our industry in particular, has made vehicle replacement planning particularly challenging,” she explains. “The logistics sector traditionally runs on extremely narrow margins, with limited amounts of money available for vehicle purchase – so the removal of uncertainty over fuel duty levels for another year will give our industry time to plan vehicle replacements more effectively.
The fuel duty freeze was one of a series of measures announced in the Budget which will have a positive impact on the logistics sector, as Ms de Jong continues:
“Logistics is at the heart of all sectors of the UK economy, and it is encouraging to see many Budget announcements which will help business operations in our industry. The freezing of HGV excise duty and the extension of the suspension of the HGV levy for a year will make the operation of vehicles more cost effective. In addition, the continued investment in road and rail infrastructure, as well as in customs and transit arrangements is welcome news which will help goods move smoothly.
“Logistics UK is pleased to hear the Chancellor’s commitment to improve the quality of HGV parking spaces available. However, as the government’s own figures estimate there is currently a shortfall of more than 1,400 spaces nationally, there is still more to be done. The business group will remain in close contact with government on this issue, to ensure that the spaces needed are finally delivered, after more than three years of promises which are yet to be fulfilled. This is vital to acknowledge the contribution which HGV drivers make to the UK’s economy and help industry attract new recruits to the sector.”