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As it lumbers from chaos to farce, Britain’s government seems to want to woo the logistics community back onside, with an expected extension on freeport status, as well as billions for roads.

Next week, chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to announce a five-year extension on the benefits conferred through freeport status as part of his autumn budget, while £8bn saved through the cancellation of the calamitous HS2 project has been doled out to fix UK roads.

“Any investment to improve Britain’s roads is welcomed by logistics businesses, which have been severely impacted by a decline in the state of highways in recent years, while the impact of taking vehicles off the roads for repair is interrupting the supply chain,” said Logistics UK deputy policy director Michelle Gardner.

She said pothole damage was costing van drivers an average £247 in repairs and HGV drivers around £575.

And she added: “Given the size of the road repair backlog and that logistics businesses pay £5bn a year in fuel duty and vehicle excise duty, the lack of urgency to implement plans is disappointing.”

Ms Gardner said the funds needed to be spent quickly, to “get our roads back into a good state”, before demanding that more funding find its way into the system to support the roads, rather than leaving it “dependent on political cycles”.

The funding announcement followed hot on the heels of reports that Britain’s eight freeports would see some tax breaks they received extended from 2026 to 2031.

Business rate relief will be prolonged as the government, and the gateways granted freeport status, seek to bolster inward investment. But it also is purportedly intended to stop an expected Labour government doing away with the freeport scheme.

While the initial cut-off is still three years away, the UK Financial Times said freeports had struggled to construct and make facilities operational as they contended with planning delays. Resultantly, the lure of tax breaks had been rendered impotent and was seemingly deterring the inward investment they had been looking to attract. But Anglesey Freeport chief executive Dylan Williams told the paper the proposal was “positive news”.

Indeed, since taking office, prime minister Rishi Sunak has sought to butter up the logistics sector with a series of initiatives, albeit fairly small, coming online over the past 12 months.

Coming simultaneously, and after a litany of government calamities from cancelling HS2 to yet another cabinet reshuffle, the latest announcements have been described as acts of a government “pandering to a sector” in the hope of finding a base of electoral support.

Speaking to The Loadstar, one logistics professional was “sceptical” about the both the timing of the announcement and the long-term benefits.

During last year’s leadership election, one port source said that, as far as the freeports scheme was concerned, they would have welcomed Penny Mordaunt as prime minister with “open arms” on account of her familiarity with the needs of ports as MP for Portsmouth.

Asked about Mr Sunak, the source saw him as “best of the rest”, given his focus on the economy, but was sceptical about his knowledge of what the logistics community needed.

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