Joint approach needed to protect haulage industry, says Muir

Alliance MLA and Infrastructure Spokesperson Andrew Muir has called upon the Ministers for Economy and Infrastructure to work together to bring forward a package of support for local hauliers.

The Alliance MLA made the call after it became clear in recent Assembly debates with the Finance Minister that a package of assistance from the Department for Transport in London is unlikely to materialise.

Commenting on the matter, Mr Muir said: “With hopes raised and now recently dashed that the Department for Transport and HM Treasury would be bringing forward a package of support it’s now vital match funding previously set aside is utilised to develop a tailored package of support for Hauliers in Northern Ireland most in need.

“We cannot wait any longer for support from London to materialise. Just last week John Martin from the Road Haulage Association informed the Assembly Infrastructure Committee that 50 percent of hauliers would be in real difficulty within one month if assistance is not forthcoming.

“Over many years families and individuals have built up a number of successful local freight and logistics firms successfully serving local businesses and consumers. Without swift action we risk losing these valued companies in a matter of weeks, putting both supply chains and livelihoods at risk.

“I’ve written to both Minister Dodds and Minister Mallon urging they come together to present a package of support to the Finance Minister and wider Executive for approval and hope for a prompt and positive response. Hauliers should not be left alone to face the enormous challenges from the pandemic and Brexit without necessary bespoke grant support.”