UK Supply Chains

Transport – in the House of Commons on 30th June 2022.

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Photo of Mark Fletcher Mark Fletcher Conservative, Bolsover

What steps his Department is taking to support UK supply chains.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We have published a future of freight plan, supporting efficient, resilient and sustainable supply chains.

Photo of Mark Fletcher Mark Fletcher Conservative, Bolsover

I thank the Minister for that very brief answer. I recently met Rick Bromley, who runs a road haulage business in my constituency, and he was very concerned about the impact of rising fuel prices on the industry and the uncertainty that such prices are creating. What assessment have the Minister and the Department made of the sustainability of the haulage sector given the current uncertainties?

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I will reply at more length now, if that is what my hon. Friend would like. We recognise that the cost of fuel, driven by global factors, means that businesses are of course facing increased operating costs, and we are taking steps to mitigate that. My hon. Friend will be aware that we cut fuel duty by 5p in the spring, and we have recently instructed the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct an urgent review of competition in the fuel retail market to ensure that customers and businesses are not getting ripped off.

Photo of Sam Tarry Sam Tarry Shadow Minister (Transport)

Mr Speaker, I apologise for my lack of a tie earlier this morning. You know that I usually take my sartorial choices incredibly seriously, given how much the media like to comment on them.

From fashion to transport chaos. We know that the Government have allowed supply chains to deteriorate to breaking point over the past few weeks. Countless businesses are on the verge of going bust, and the knock-on impact on families has been heartbreaking given the full force of the cost of living crisis. Throughout this, the Secretary of State has been and continues to be missing in action. Time and again, he has refused to meet the Mayor of London to agree a long-term funding deal for Transport for London, jeopardising UK-wide supply chains. He did nothing—nothing—to halt last week’s rail strikes, and instead just attacked the workers, who had legitimate grievances. It is clear that the Secretary of State does not care about fixing supply chains; instead, he spends his time making TikToks. So will the Minister get a grip on the transport chaos?

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Let me enlighten the hon. Member. There is, for example, the action we have taken on HGV drivers. We have taken 33 measures, which have been praised by Logistics UK. That is what we are doing. This Department has a very firm grip of the transport network, and that is why we are seeing results.