National Campaigning Update 22nd February 2012
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News that Iran and ‘the rest of the world’ are squaring up over Iranian use of nuclear power has been gaining a head of steam over the past couple of months.
We have reported this issue several times, the effect on the world oil markets has been profound. A month ago Brent was trading at $108 a barrel, today it is $121 – that has an immediate effect on the price of fuel and the RHA Weekly Fuel Survey last week came within 0.01p of the record set on 15th April last year.
That was the ‘Arab Spring Rising’ effect and our survey peaked at 115.43ppl with an oil price that week of $123 – yes oil was slightly higher then but so was our UK Sterling exchange rate against the US Dollar in which oil is traded. The rate back then was 163 cents to the Pound and today we have dropped to 158 cents (fuel duty was the same at 57.95ppl).
It is a fair certainty that our survey this coming Friday will show a new record high, our average will probably show a price around the 116ppl with no sign yet in a let up of increasing prices.
The need to increase haulage rates is inescapable and we will be highlighting this to customers.
VOSA has announced revised fees for annual lorry testing and operator licensing. The changes will come into effect on 1 April 2012.
Fees for HGV testing have been amended to differentiate between tests conducted at VOSA facilities and those at non-VOSA test facilities. Many customers using privately owned Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) with VOSA inspectors will pay a lower fee.
Testing fees at VOSA sites will increase by approximately 4% while those at non-VOSA sites will reduce by around 4%.
The ‘enforcement element’ incorporated in annual test fees (not retest fees) will not change.
Full details of the new fees are available on VOSA’s website.
http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/HGV fees poster 2012.pdf
The RHA's strong feelings about the cancellation was shared by others at a Insolvency Service summit this week.
Representatives of commercial landlords, the printing industry, the banking sector, and the credit industry were among those who joined RHA policy manager Sonia Purser in stressing that the current system is not working and that action is still needed.
Norman Lamb, has taken over the issue at the Business department from Edward Davey who was promoted to be Energy and Climate Change Secretary. Now the Insolvency Service has now promised to organise an event after Easter at which Lamb will review the subject.
Freight crime police intelligence unit, Truckpol has been backed by Dragons' Den star Hilary Devey, CEO of Pall-Ex, as the Road Haulage Association along with the Freight Transport Association and Commercial Motor fight to keep Truckpol open.
Devey said “Sadly, crime still blights the sector, and with many hauliers feeling the pinch, they can ill-afford any kind of loss."
Truckpol may close in April following government cutbacks if additional funds cannot be found to meet a budget shortfall. Members wanting further information about supporting the campaign should contact Chrys Rampley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seven vans eligible for the government’s Plug-in Van Grant have been announced. Buyers of the models could be given an up to £8,000 or a 20% discount on the cost of a vehicle under the scheme.
The vans eligible for the grants are:
• Azure Dynamics – Transit Connect Electric
• Daimler Mercedes-Benz – Vito E-Cell
• Faam – ECOMILE
• Faam – JOLLY 2000
• Mia-electric – Mia U
• Renault – Kangoo ZE variants Kangoo VAN ZE, Kangoo Van Maxi ZE, and Kangoo Van Maxi Crew ZE
• Smith Electric – Smith Edison variants SE2 and SE3
The strength of the Commercial Vehicle Task Force is being increased by Transport for London with six additional officers being funded since December. Money is also being made available to train haulage operators and drivers on cycle safety.
This comes around two years after London Mayor Boris Johnson reduced funding for the Metropolitan Police’s Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which resulted in its closure.
You may have heard or seen published in the press that the French are proposing to introduce new legislation for the compulsory requirement to carry/use self breathalyser kits.
Information received from the French association, FNTR, indicates that a published directive has not been passed yet and is unlikely to happen until after the French Presidential elections in May this year.
Ahead of the mass lobby of Parliament on 7 March, RHA members and their customers are reminded that the Fair Fuel UK e-petition can still be signed.
With over 138,100 signatures it is now only bettered by a petition to do with the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster, and one on the NHS reforms.
The Fair Fuel petition calls for the Government to scrap the planned 4p fuel duty increase scheduled for August 2012, and to recognise that the high cost of diesel and petrol is crippling the economy.
You can sign the petition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/347
Members wanting to join the mass lobby of Parliament can find information at National FairFuel Day.
Head of International Affairs Peter Cullum represented the RHA at the IRU’s social affairs committee in Brussels last week.
Delegates from 14 countries attended to discuss road transport issues with a social dimension. The main agenda item concerned European Commission proposals for the compulsory fitting of satellite positioning capability in all tachographs for new vehicles, to help combat fraud and tampering. The plan was met with scepticism by some delegates.
VOSA representatives lead a discussion on adoption of standard training protocols for European enforcement authorities, following frustrations over differing enforcement practices across the continent. The development of a European enforcement database was another topic raised.
For more economic news please go to the Economic Update.