EU exit will damage the UK’s haulage sector, says industry

Half of decision-makers in road transport think that leaving the EU would have a negative impact

Half of decision-makers in road transport think that leaving the European Union would have a negative impact on the UK haulage industry, according to a survey of more than 800 decision makers. In comparison only a fifth think an exit would be positive and 30% are either not sure, or believe there will be no impact.

The statistics, released today as part of the Microlise Transport Conference post-event report, were captured during interactive voting on questions at the largest road transport event in Europe. The report gives a detailed view of the road transport industry in 2015, on a range of key issues.

The same survey also found that 89% of road transport workers think that the Government does not show enough understanding of the UK road economy and that 87% want HS2 rail project money diverted to road improvements.

“With the referendum on Europe just around the corner, it’s clear that the majority of the road transport industry believes leaving would be detrimental,” said Nadeem Raza, Chief Executive Officer, Microlise. “The findings of our report also show a picture of an industry which is being impacted on a number of fronts, including the driver shortage, the current Calais crisis and the highest fuel duty in Europe.”

When questioned about fuel tax, 82% of respondents thought that their business would realise significant benefit if there were a cut in fuel duty and more than a third (40%) believe there are not enough traffic police on UK roads.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said: "The key finding is the strong, clear message that the government needs more understanding of the road economy. Ministers are doing better. But they need to go much further with appropriate road regulation and recognition of the industry. They have an opportunity to lead positive, lasting change and to gain credit for doing so. The RHA is keen and well able to help them do that."

The date of next year’s 2016 Microlise Transport Conference has been announced as 18 May and it will again be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.