London mayor attacks HGVs
Yesterday the London Mayor announced damaging new Ultra Low Congestion Zone (ULEZ) requirements from 2019, in what is formally a consultation but looks like a plan of action.
For HGVs, the Mayor will only allow Euro VI lorries to enter the zone without a fine. All other HGV’s will have to pay a fine of £100 to enter the zone from April 2019, 17 months earlier than settled by Boris Johnson after extensive consultation.
Read more HERE.
Euro VI diesel trucks lead on air quality
The Road Haulage Association is disturbed by a Parliamentary exchange on alternative-fuelled HGVs, which completely misses the point that the latest trucks are leading the way in slashing pollution levels.
Read more HERE.
Danger – low motorway bridge!
On Tuesday, an RHA member reported striking a motorway bridge travelling on the M25 anticlockwise approaching junction 18 (marker post 113/3). The driver stopped and checked his height and the bridge height. Both his vehicle and the bridge were less than 16’6”. This was further corroborated by the police investigation team.
The police told us that it was not the first time the bridge had been hit – and this is evident from the photo taken, which shows the bridge has been scraped on numerous occasions.
This episode raises disturbing questions. The RHA has contacted Highways England and we are urgently seeking clarification. In the meantime beware that the bridge slopes towards lane one and the hard shoulder. Let us know if you have encountered similar issues on the motorway network at firstname.lastname@example.org
HMRC presses demands on allowance
HMRC has told us it will take a hard line on implementation of the new requirements on lorry drivers’ overnight allowances and that hauliers must have an agreement in place to pay the allowance free of tax and National Insurance from tomorrow, April 6.
The RHA has written to HMRC minister Jane Ellison at HM Treasury, urging that the new arrangements be suspended as they are in breach of an undertaken given to the RHA in February 2015. Many members have also written to their MPs in similar vein and we will be seeing some of those MPs when the current recess ends in two weeks’ time.
An updated guide to the allowance, with clarifications from HMRC and including possible impact on tax credits, is available HERE.
After BBC’s Ikea report
Scrutiny of road haulage conditions for some large shippers has been further highlighted, following a BBC report on Ikea. Commenting on the report, one RHA member has described haulage as “the hidden shame” of some large retailers and manufacturers’ supply chains.
Further coverage is given in a lengthy article in Compliance Week, which we have been told has generated an unprecedented level of online interest. (read more HERE)
Comment is welcome at email@example.com
M11 overtaking ban
A new HGV overtaking ban on the M11, on a two-mile stretch northbound and one mile southbound between junctions 8 and 9 from 7am to 7pm, has split member opinion.
In favour of the ban are members who see this as a reasonable response from Highways England, after too many drivers have run parallel to the truck they are overtaking and held up other road users unreasonably. Against are those who say drivers are simply doing their job, and that HE itself causes far greater delay to road users through blanket 50 mph restrictions.
The RHA says that the hard shoulder should be used, or a crawler lane constructed. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorry parking study
AECOM is undertaking an England-wide audit of lorry parking for the Department for Transport. The work is part of a wider piece of work on lorry parking being orchestrated by the roads minister John Hayes.
The RHA has assisted AECOM in this study, passing on members’ views and highlighting a number of issues and concerns regarding the quality, cost, location, minimum standards, security as well as the general lack of facilities in the right place. In addition to the audit, the government is trying to identify land for additional (suitable) sites across the country.
If anyone can contribute to the study, please contact email@example.com
DVLA system unavailability
Work will be carried out to DVLAs mainframe database on Sunday 9th April.
The DVLA services that will be impacted will be the Personalised Registrations (PR) and Vehicle Management (VM) digital services. These will be unavailable and the essential maintenance page information will be shown.
There will be no impact on DVLA’s Driver & Vehicle enquiry services.
All systems should return to normal on Monday 10 April.