Some of our achievements on behalf of members in 2022
06 Jan 2023
Posted By Kate Gibbs
We scored well on many of the key issues we campaigned on last year. From wins tackling the skills shortage to much-needed investment in lorry parking facilities, we’re here to create the right environment to support growth among our membership.
We secured £34.5 million investment from the Government to train 11,000 new HGV drivers and ensured HGV driving is added to the UK Government’s list of Skills Bootcamps. We secured extension of the scheme for a further year, allowing even more drivers to be trained. We also helped secure two new apprenticeships for people to become Class C qualified or Class C + E qualified. This included an increase of funding to £7,000 – and Urban Apprenticeships to £5,000 supporting firms to train and recruit new drivers. We secured an extension to the £3,000 incentive payment for employers hiring HGV apprentices until March.
Many of our members find the timetables set for net-zero for lorries very challenging. They risk finding themselves with diesel lorries or coaches that might be effectively outlawed with no viable or affordable alternatives, at least for the heaviest vehicles. We have secured a share of £300m investment to help commercialise low and zero-emission technologies, including trials of three zero-emission HGV technologies.
Clean Air Zones
Clean Air Zones and city charging associated with driving into the zones has been a major headache for our members. Our extensive lobbying on vehicle supply constraints persuaded Manchester to delay and review the planned Manchester Clean Air Zone. We managed to get the Burford lorry ban overturned and are engaging with Oxfordshire County Council and have a series of educational workshops to work through local freight issues. Their zero emission zone planned for the city has also been postponed as a result of our lobbying. Following our campaigning the Department for Transport is also consulting on exemptions to phase out diesel HGVs – given the proposed target date of 2035 to stop the sale of new diesel HGV’s below 26 tonnes.
We now have £52.5 million secured from the Government for improving driver facilities as a result of our work. The Government has offered a joint funding scheme so service station operators can apply for grants to upgrade and improve existing HGV driver facilities including showers, toilets and food availability, as well as secure parking.
We highlighted the difficulties for drivers over the regulation relating to keeping 28 days of Tachograph driving records. The DfT have now confirmed that block entries and evidence forms will now be accepted by DVSA. We have secured confirmation from HMRC for an extension of the sleeper cab allowance scheme – we have ensured HMRC will review the allowance of £26.20 given current cost pressures.
The Spring Statement saw a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty for 12 months – we are campaigning to have that extended and improved, with a central demand of a minimum 15p per litre cut for essential users such as HGVs and coaches. Vehicle Excise Duty for HGVs was also frozen and the HGV road user levy suspension was continued – all key RHA demands. Following months of campaigning DfT has reviewed Driver CPC and proposed a number of changes which will need to be enacted through new legislation – which we hope will make the DCPC less onerous and time consuming for drivers.