Nationalization a nice political slogan, RHA members told
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• Members of the RHA's Exeter sub-area were reminded of the last time the road haulage industry was nationalized, some 25 years ago, when they held their annual dinner last Friday.
Mr Derek Good, the Association's deputy chairman for the Devon and Cornwall area, told them he supposed the industry could not take too seriously the Labour Party's decision on the nationalization of all road haulage companies with more than five vehicles.
On the previous occasion several thousand hauliers had been dispossessed of businesses which everybody, including the Labour party, agreed they were operating with great efficiency and economy and very much to the satisfaction of their customers. The net result was, he said, that these same customers subsequently "voted with their wheels".
In other words, said Mr Good, once they were deprived of the personal and flexible service which only the individual hauliers could give them they put their own vehicles on the road and within a few years hundreds of thousands of extra lorries and vans were running under what were then called C-licences.
"Wholesale nationalization of haulage may make a very nice political slogan but it hardly does much for the problem of congestion," Mr Good maintained.
Mr Good referred to the proposals of Exeter City Council to prohibit the movement of heavy goods vehicles through the city between 10 pm and 6 am. The hauliers appreciated the concern of the residents living near trunk roads who had their nightly sleep disturbed but they were the same people who wanted their local shops supplied each morning with fresh produce. It was only by heavy goods vehicles moving at night that this could be achieved.