Treasury still not listening
Treasury minister Jane Ellison has refused to defer the imposition of damaging new red tape on the overnight allowance, even though a new consultation on allowances has just been published.
The RHA has responded that she is again incorrectly advised and appears to be unaware of the damage being done to the industry and the fact that HMRC is in practice killing the allowance. We have said that HMRC is petty and out of touch and we have urged her to direct HMRC to re-think.
Several MPs have written to members pointing out the new consultation, published on March 20. (HERE)
Meanwhile, the new rules apply from April 6. There are actions that members paying overnight allowances free of tax need to take urgently, if they have not already done so.
For more information please click HERE.
Turfitt to be new senior TC
Beverley Bell’s successor as senior traffic commissioner is to be eastern area TC Richard Turfitt. He takes over when Bell retires on June 1, after five years in the role.
The appointment was announced by the Department for Transport announced last week and has been warmly welcomed by the RHA.
The DfT has also announced that Tim Blackmore will take over as North East TC and Simon Evans as North West TC next month. Colonel Blackmore moves from heading up the British Forces Post Office and Evans is a deputy TC. He is also indpeendent member (chair) of the Parole Board for England and Wales.
Practical security guide
We strongly recommend that members take a look at the new Cargo and Road Transport Security Guide, which reviews security issues and sets out practical solutions for hauliers and their customers. It has been produced in a collaboration that has drawn together expertise of the RHA and members of our security forum, DIPS, DHL, RSA, Motorway Buddy, the police (NaVCIS) and Maple. Thanks are due to all involved. The foreward is by Chrys Rampley, the RHA’s manager infrastructure, security and business affairs.
The guide was launched at the CV Show this week. A link to the press release is HERE.
Comments welcome at email@example.com
10,000+ sign Truckstops petition
A petition calling for more and better Truckstops has gained more than 10,000 signatures, drawing a formal response from government: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/169853
Meanwhile, the RHA continues its clear lobbying, to build on the welcome shift in position of the Department for Transport in recent months; and we have had further meetings with MPs.
Think! on hand-held mobiles
The Department for Transport’s long-running Think! safety campaign has produced a guide for professional drivers, which is well worth a look, which you can view HERE.
The RHA has been campaigning strongly to eradicate the use of hand-held mobile phones when driving goods vehicles. Members view hands-free as an important business tool, which should be subject to proper risk management. On hands-free, RHA Training advises that drivers should answer an incoming call where they judge it safe to do so, otherwise let it ring for the caller to leave a message.
Bank Junction – it gets worse
The RHA has been in contact with the City of London about the planned day time closure of Bank Junction to all motorised traffic except buses. The implementation has been delayed, but is still planned to go ahead after “mid-May”.
We have been notified by the City of London that in addition to the junction closure further restrictions will be put in place on HGVs – these involve new vehicle length limits “on routes close to the junction” of between 7m and 10m. The details of what length restriction applies where are still not available from City of London.
The authority rejected our proposal that lorries be allowed to continue to use the junction in the same way as buses. Given the low proportion of lorries, the impacts on businesses, the lack of diversion options and the simplicity of allowing HGV movement, we feel this to be a reasonable proposal.
All HGV based collections and deliveries in the area will in future have to be done at night. We will pass on information as and when we get it. Please register interest with Duncan Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxford Street – consultation
The City of Westminster, with TfL, is consulting on changes to traffic access on and around Oxford Street. Any member who collect or deliver in the area should consider the consultation carefully as it is part of a process that seeks to limit, then eliminate, vehicle traffic in Oxford Street.
We urge any members who have an interest to make their views known in a short survey here. The RHA will be considering the consultation and will respond too – if you would like to raise issues with us to pass on please email email@example.com.