RHA Messenger 03 May

3rd May 2017

Overnight allowance update

Several points have emerged in our lobbying against the new overnight allowance regime since last Wednesday.

Treasury minister Jane Ellison said in a letter that she has accepted that a pragmatic approach to implementation of the new rules is needed.

Ellison said she has asked HMRC to meet us to discuss implementation.

However, this week, a second HMRC official has told us that there is no legislative requirement for mandatory checking of expenses. This is contrary to what HMRC has maintained and contrary to its apparent briefing to ministers.

The RHA has put forward two alternatives that would be acceptable to the industry, meet legal requirements and improve the working of the overnight allowance. We have today called on the minister to put the current requirements on hold and to direct HMRC to discuss urgently what low-bureaucracy options could be put in place to replace them.

All that said, we urge any members who have not applied for a bespoke allowance agreement to do so as soon as possible, if they wish to pay the allowance free of tax and NI.

 

HMRC in Commercial Motor

Members may have seen a report about the overnight allowance in Commercial Motor last week. We reject the comments made by HMRC, particularly in relation to its consideration of the RHA’s concerns.

Contrary to HMRC’s comment, it has made no response whatever to the concerns repeatedly expressed by the RHA concerning the damaging changes introduced last month. Other than to dismiss them publicly as “a storm in a teacup”.

 

Speed Limits at Roadworks

Highways England is considering whether to raise the speed limit through roadworks from 50 mph to either 55 or 60 mph. The RHA has suggested a strictly-enforced 60 mph, subject to risk assessment. This would reduce problems caused by car speedometers under-reading; and that it should smooth the flow of traffic as all vehicles will be travelling at a similar speed. 

Comments welcome at c.rampley@rha.uk.net

 

Recruiting drivers

Ministers from three government departments – John Hayes at Transport, Robert Halfon at Education and Damien Hinds at Employment – have written a joint letter to transport managers regarding driver recruitment.

They promote the new LGV apprenticeship, which was developed by an industry group chaired by Colin Snape when he was at Nagel Langdons. Colin joined the RHA as a deputy policy director last August.

You can see the letter HERE.
Comments or queries to Colin at c.snape@rha.uk.net

 

Kent refuses lorry park

Shepway District Council’s planning committee has refused retrospective planning permission to the owner of Airport CafĂ© for the temporary use of Otterpool Quarry on the A20 as an overflow lorry park.

The decision comes despite support by the RHA and Highways England. Another 70 lorry parking spaces are lost by this blinkered decision, on top of 100 parking places at Folkestone Harbour recently.

 

RHA Election Manifesto 

The RHA has published a “Top 5” election manifesto, covering road investment and facilities, fuel duty, air quality, skills and Brexit HERE

 

No drivers by 2050?

It will likely be another 30-50 years before drivers will no longer be needed in road haulage, visitors to the CV Show were told last week.

At a show seminar, Professor Nick Green of consultancy TRL said that over the past few years the government has pledged £1.8 billion in automated vehicle technology, less than 20% of it directed towards the logistics industry. The government has pledged £100 million to test automated HGVs and a further £100 million on facilities.