Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
I was able to ask the Culture Minister earlier today about what discussions there have been with the Department for Transport about making sure there are enough specialist event hauliers to support UK music tours this summer.
We’re faced with a shortage of both trucks and truckers in the UK because of post- Brexit restrictions which mean that EU flagged trucks can traverse the UK at will, but UK flagged hauliers are still bound by cabotage rules in the EU. This has led to specialist UK hauliers moving their business to the EU permanently.
As you see from the clip the Minister promises action “later this year” (industry leaders expect August). But this puts the summer of British music at risk. Stormzy’s touring this month, Bristol’s own Love Saves the Day is during the Jubille Bank Holiday, and Glastonbury Festival’s in June. My main concern though is for the smaller artists without major financial support. The Chair of the LIVE Touring Group Craig Stanley has said truck companies “won’t even quote” for smaller bands due to the shortage.
The Government should have acted on this long ago; it’s only because Covid put an end to live events that we haven’t reached crisis point sooner. We need urgent moves to save this summer’s live music scene.