RHA Messenger 24 May

24th May 2017

RHA rocks at Microlise

RHA Policy’s Jack Semple, Duncan Buchanan and Colin Snape put on almost three hours of presentations at the Association’s workshop area at the Microlise Transport Conference in Coventry.

Subjects included HMRC: the unresolved tax chaos created by HMRC regarding the new overnight allowance; and the progress in bogus self-employment, in which HMRC and the TCs are now collaborating, as proposed by the RHA. (In the main conference, senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell said that operators ‘should not be pretending drivers are self-employed when they are not’.)

We covered the RHA’s proposal to the Department for Transport, DVSA and the traffic commissioners that all operators should be audited – and all but one in the audience voted that the idea should be taken forward.

We also covered roads, air quality and the industry’s image. In a vote, most in the audience said they, or someone they knew, had the capability and enthusiasm to promote the industry in schools and elsewhere.

Also covered were the new drivers and other apprenticeships, Brexit, and driver health.

The sessions started at 7.35 in the morning – when there was already a worthwhile audience.


****Move to Critical**** security advice

In light of the Government decision to raise the security level to Critical ( An attack may be imminent) please find attached some information that will hopefully assist you in making sure security measures are in place and staff are aware of their responsibilities.

Please share this with colleagues and other departments within your organisation.

Whilst we do not have information that an attack is likely to involve the use of a goods vehicle, given events recently, it remains a possibility and we would ask that you ensure security procedures and protocols are strictly adhered to.

Please contact your local Counter Terrorist Security Advisor (CTSA) for further information.

More information on HGV security is available HERE and HERE.


C+E goes online

Roads and logistics minister John Hayes has written to the RHA to confirm that Gov.uk is about to update details of the LGV driver apprenticeship to show that it can include the cost of training to C+E.

The addition was agreed before Christmas 2016 as a result of lobbying of the Department for Education by the RHA and has included in presentations to members over the past two months – but had yet to appear on Gov.uk. We had sought Hayes’ help in getting the change made.

The addition of C+E was – correctly - described as “a game-changer” by two training organisations attending the RHA Microlise workshops last week.


Training providers online here

A list of training providers delivering LGV Trailblazer apprenticeship, many of which are national, has been produced this week by the RHA. For reasons that are unclear, the government does not produce such a guide. Firms have to go online and search for providers near to their postcode. We understand also that some training providers may not be listed.

We are keen to build this list. If you are a training provider, or know of one, that delivers the new apprenticeship, please email c.snape@rha.uk.net

For the list, CLICK HERE.


Overnight allowance talks stalled

The RHA’s engagement with HMRC on the issue of overnight allowances has all but broken down. We had been offered a meeting last Thursday – notwithstanding election purdah – but that was then withdrawn, quoting purdah.

A promised detailed email, when it arrived, had errors of tax law, clarified none of the outstanding contradictions HMRC has created, and failed to address other important issues, some of which could members and drivers being seriously mis-led and put at risk. We had been told all these points would be resolved.

We were offered a meeting at the end of June. We have rejected that meeting, on the basis that it was too long a wait and that HMRC had failed to clarify the possible agenda, as we had requested.

HMRC has taken clarity on the issue of the overnight allowance and imposed tax chaos on the industry. We are now seeking national media coverage of this shambles.

We will be seeking the support of MPs immediately upon their election, including members of the treasury select committee.  We are again urging the financial secretary to direct HMRC to meet us to discuss alternatives to random checking of receipts.

In parallel, we are contributing to the Confederation of British Industry’s review of employee expense rules. As part of that, we are querying whether benchmark allowances, also recently introduced by HMRC, are actually being used by firms or ignored as too risky or too bureaucratic.

Members wishing more or to comment please email j.semple@rha.uk.net


RHA at Welsh Assembly

The RHA will give evidence at the Welsh Assembly on the impact of Brexit on Welsh ports. The hearing is expected on June 12. Comment or detail brexit@rha.uk.net


Cycle lanes risk lives say paramedics

The introduction of segregated cycle lanes across Britain could cost lives because they slow down ambulances, paramedics have warned.

Dozens of cycle lanes on busy roads now have a concrete kerb alongside them to stop drivers from veering into them.

The College of Paramedics is quoted as saying that the new model of kerbed lanes makes it much harder for motorists to move to one side when they see the blue flashing lights on emergency vehicles behind them. It supported segregated cycle lanes but a balance has to be struck.


Ransomware advice

The National Cyber Security Centre has provided guidance for enterprise administrators and small businesses who want to reduce the likelihood of being held to ransom by WannaCry (or other types of ransomware).

It is very important that haulage companies protect themselves from hacking for more information click HERE.


Wm Armstrong boss on BBC

Jennifer Whyberd, chairman of the RHA Livestock Group and joint MD of Wm Armstrong, was interviewed by the BBC and stressed the need for more investment in roads, detailing how congestion was a major issue, especially in that last mile when making the deliveries or when making  collections from farms. 

She said that potholes are damaging vehicles and adding to journey times; and emphasised the value of foreign drivers in the UK haulage industry.


Phone DVSA to pay

When applying for replacement vehicle testing and plating documents and want to pay by credit or debit card, you'll now need to phone DVSA to make the payment.

The fees will not be changing. This change will not affect other types of applications, for example, a first HGV test.