Warning – danger of theft
Lorry drivers passing through Northamptonshire are being alerted about the dangers of thefts - 273 thefts from lorries parked in Northamptonshire have been reported to police over the past 12 months.
Superintendent Sean Bell said a new East Midlands Freight Crime Task Force has a trailer (pictured, with the RHA’s Chrys Rampley) which carries crime prevention messages in English, Polish and Romanian. He is urging anyone seeing suspicious behaviour around a lorry to dial 999.
Northamptonshire Police is working closely with the Road Haulage Association, the motorway service station providers, the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) and neighbouring forces. Video HERE.
The RHA calls for smooth running over post Brexit borders
The RHA has called on the UK and the EU to agree a land transport deal that would allow unfettered international road transport after Brexit. We are proposing that cabotage and combined transport be excluded from any land transport agreement. Click HERE for details.
HMRC and overnight allowance
HMRC has turned clarity into chaos regarding the overnight allowance, with wildly variable and contradictory advice on what is acceptable regarding checking of receipts. Many firms have elected to deduct tax and NI, with thousands of drivers now being invited to reclaim the tax element at the year-end.
The RHA is pressing for a meeting with HMRC to discuss possible alternatives to the current system. We thank members who have helped lobby MPs, including in at least one case a cabinet member, to alert them to what the industry faces.
M4 closure this weekend
The M4 will be closed in both directions between junction 12 (Theale) and junction 13 (Chieveley) over the coming weekend for bridge maintenance. The closure is from 9pm on Friday 12 May until 6am on Monday 15 May. Signed diversions will be in place. Member feedback is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
Defra’s NOx plan published
The government has published its strategy for tackling NOx from vehicles. It was forced to publish during the purdah period by the courts.
Euro VI/6 is set as the minimum standard for free entry to new charging Clean Air Zones, which are anticipated to come into effect from 2019 and 2020.
The government will consult this year on proposals to increase the weight limit of alternatively-fuelled vans that can be driven on a category B driving licence in the UK, exempt certain alternatively-fuelled vans from operator licensing and exempt electric vans from roadworthiness testing in GB.
There will be a call for evidence on the use of red diesel. This is likely to include red diesel used in temperature-controlled vehicles.
Euro 6 cars are shown to produce only 40% less NOx than Euro 3 in real world operation, and ten times more than intended. Vans are understood to be in a similar position. By contrast, Euro VI HGVs perform to standard. Disappointingly, this is not made clear.
Defra says: “Action to improve air quality is grounded in our modern industrial strategy.”
HGV levy aims change
The government proposes changing the aims to the HGV road user levy, as part of the air quality review. It will call for evidence on “updating” the levy, so that it “rewards hauliers that plan their routes effectively, to incentivise the efficient use of roads, and improve air quality”. The government has previously indicated it is thinking of a distance-based charged, rather than a daily charge.
The levy was introduced in April 2014 to help level the uneven playing field between UK and foreign haulage and to raise revenue for road maintenance from foreign firms.
The consultation was flagged in the 2017 Budget and the RHA has already said that the proposal puts at risk the merits of the current system, which is clear, fair and works – and has industry support. However, there may be scope for near-doubling the levy and maintaining cost neutrality for UK firms after Brexit, by scrapping VED. That could be done with the current system.