Examination of Witnesses (Questions 136
WEDNESDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2000
MR R KING,
MRS K LEEMING
136. Good morning. Perhaps, Mr King, you could
introduce your colleagues and then we shall begin.
(Mr King) I am Roger King, Chief Executive of the
Road Haulage Association. On my right is Mrs Karen Leeming, who
is a Policy Adviser to the RHA. On my left is Professor Douglas
McWilliams who is Chief Executive of the Centre for Economic and
Business Research Limited.
137. Could we start off by clearing some of
the confusion, certainly in my mind? What is the difference between
the RHA and the Freight Transport Association (FTA)? Do you have
different purposes? Do you have different membership? If you could
clarify that, it might take away some of the confusion.
(Mr King) I am sure we have the same aims and objectives
for a productive and efficient haulage industry; in fact I know
we do. We tend to represent the hire and reward side. Those are
people who are primarily in the business of road haulage for and
on behalf of customers and as such they do not tend to be part
of a bigger business like the supermarket operation or oil company
operation. I think I would be correct in sayingand I am
oversimplifying perhaps, but for the benefit of the Committee
it probably indicates the differencethat the Freight Transport
Association represents businesses which have part of their operation
as a transport undertaking.
138. You will have members who drive vehicles
which bear the livery of a company by whom they are rewarded or
(Mr King) Yes, that would be correct. We have some
very big operators. There is obviously a blurring in the areas
of representation but if you said that we were hire and reward
and the FTA were more orientated towards company owned fleet operation
then you would probably have a fair idea.
139. That clears up at least one of the small
problems we might have. You realise that we are not primarily
here to recommend to Government changes in tax structures. We
all have our private views on that which will probably intrude
upon the discussion this morning. The purpose of our inquiry is
primarily to try to get a picture of what the impact of the fuel
duty increases has been on UK PLC. As one of the partners in UK
PLC we are interested in what has happened both to your industry
and to the people whom your industry serves because we realise
there is a dependence there. It is suggested that somewhere around
35 per cent of your costs can be accounted for by fuel. On average
what percentage of hauliers' costs are accounted for by fuel costs?
Is it 35 per cent or is that a kind of ballpark figure? Could
you be more specific?
(Mr King) May I defer to Professor McWilliams who
has done some updating of figures on that?
(Professor McWilliams) When we did our last set of
calculations, and we were looking at the entire road haulage industry
and taking the average for that, the figures for last year worked
out at just over 27 per cent. We have done a fairly casual updating
to take account of the changes in fuel costs since then and we
estimate that just over 30 per cent is the average. It obviously
varies with the type of haulier and with the distance you travel;
probably typically between 25 and 30 per cent.