23 November 2021
Representatives from the UK recovery industry unite to discuss the detrimental impact of statutory fees on essential roadside recovery work

Last week key stakeholders from across the UK roadside and recovery industry came together for a virtual roundtable event to highlight their increasing concern at the detrimental impact that current statutory fee levels in England and Wales are having on their ability to carry out vital recovery work to keep Britain’s roads safe.

This roundtable event was originally convened by Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Roadside Rescue & Recovery Sir Mike Penning MP, however due to an unavoidable commitment which meant he was unable to attend on the day, APPG supporter Peter Aldous MP kindly stepped in to lead the meeting. The meeting was attended by a number of stakeholders including representatives from the Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators (AVRO), independent operators, the RHA, the Home Office, Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR), the Recovery Industry Support Charity (RISC) and National Highways.

The basis of the discussion was informed by a recent inquiry held by the APPG into statutory fees. The inquiry found that the failure of the Home Office to review fees since 2008 has had a dire impact on the industry and risks irreparably damaging a vital industry that is essential to keep our roads clear and safe. The situation is so severe that that report found that in some cases operators are actually earning less than they did in 2008.

The aim of the meeting was to give stakeholders the opportunity to constructively discuss current challenges and potential ways industry and Government can work together to improve statutory fees policy in England and Wales. This discussion covered a range of key areas including: current levels of statutory fees, distribution of statutory fees, rising maintenance costs, facilities and working conditions and the rising popularity of electric vehicles which has led to increased storage and disposal costs and concerns. A key takeaway from the meeting was a proposal from AVRO representatives to the Home Office that any future increase in statutory fees should go directly to operators over the police and National Highways, as the industry has been most impacted by the lack of review of statutory fees over the last 13 years.

Steve Smith, President of AVRO said:

“Myself and my colleagues were delighted to be invited to take part in this vital roundtable discussion and to have the chance to put our concerns forward on behalf of our members to parliamentarians and the Home Office. The industry’s needs and concerns have been ignored now for too long and it is essential that the Home Office ensures that any future increases of statutory fees go towards those actually carrying out recovery work or risk the collapse of the UK’s 4th emergency service. I will be writing to key stakeholders across the sector and hope others will be willing to support our proposal which will ensure a better and fairer system for all.”

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney said:

“Ensuring that statutory fees are increased and distributed fairly and evenly is of the upmost importance, as the UK recovery industry is vital to ensuring our roads are kept safe. I very much support calls for reform as I have a constituent whose business continues to impacted by the lack of review of statutory fees. I was pleased to be able to chair this important and constructive meeting between industry, National Highways and the Home Office.”