Greg Smith, MP for Buckingham and member of the Transport Select Committee has been elected as the new Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Road Freight and Logistics.
Following on from his election, Smith has confirmed that the group will launch an inquiry on fuel duty and its impact on the haulage industry and its customers.
The inquiry will focus on whether the Government should take further action including the introduction of an essential user rebate.
Smith said: "Whilst the 5p reduction in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement was a welcome step forward the reality is it is a drop in the ocean for hauliers.
“The recent increases in fuel prices are fuelling inflation and applying unwanted pressure on the UK economy.
“As such, my initial focus as Chair will be to propose solutions that will support the industry in the challenging months ahead and take those solutions to my colleagues in government.”
Smith succeeds former Roads Minister Sir Mike Penning MP who formed the group in 2019 to ensure that the needs and challenges of the essential UK haulage and logistics sector are heard and supported in parliament.
As a result of his appointment as vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, Sir Mike has stood down as Chair of the APPG with immediate effect.
Smith added: “I am delighted to have been elected as the new Chair of the APPG on Road Freight and Logistics.
“The UK haulage and logistics sector play a central role in making sure that our country runs around the clock, with 89% of all goods transported by land in Great Britain moved directly by road.
“It is crucial that as parliamentarians we work to support and challenge this vital industry and that necessary policy measures are taken to ensure the future of the UK haulage and logistics industry."
Outgoing Chair Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP said: “I am delighted to hand over to my colleague Greg who shares my passion for an industry that is so vital to our economy and everyday lives. We saw the critical importance of the sector during the pandemic when they kept essential goods and medical supplies moving.
“All too often hauliers are the unsung heroes of the British economy and the work of the APPG will be vital in ensuring that the Government responds and meets the very real challenges that the sector continues to face.”