RHA Messenger 14 June

14th June 2017

RHA Launches Cartel Compensation Claim - join now! 

The Road Haulage Association is now giving UK haulage and logistics firms (whether or not they are RHA members) the chance to sign up to its legal action for compensation against truck manufacturers found guilty of illegal price fixing.

In July last year the European Commission fined MAN, Volvo Group (which includes Volvo Trucks and Renault Truck) Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Iveco and DAF close to €3 billion (£2.6 billion) for price fixing and other cartel activities between 1997 and 2011.  The compensation claim will be brought before the Competition Appeals Tribunal.  If successful, haulage and logistics companies will get money back for vehicles sold or leased to them at inflated prices because of the cartel, if they sign up to the claim.

Joining the claim is very simple. You can join the action over at www.truckcartellegalaction.com, and it costs nothing to sign up. All you need to have done is bought a truck from any of the above listed manufacturers who formed the cartel: the RHA and our expert legal team will fight the case on your behalf.

Similarly, if you are angry about how the cartel affected your business, feel free to get in touch with our press office and share your story.


Customs unlikely to be ready for Brexit, says RHA

On Monday this week the RHA appeared before the Welsh Assembly External Affairs Committee to give evidence on risks and opportunities Brexit will pose for Welsh ports.

A key point highlighted was the serious risk to supply chains if customs processes fail to meet the needs of the Ro-Ro based haulage sector.

After the meeting, Duncan Buchanan, Deputy Policy Director said: “If we get this wrong, supply chains will be paralysed at our Ro-Ro ports. People will notice the lorry queues and will see empty spaces in the supermarket, unless we get this right.

“Success is possible, but the Government now needs to be clear about how goods, imports and exports, will be controlled for customs at Ro-Ro ports when we leave the EU.

“We do not believe that customs and business will be ready by the 30 March 2019. We are therefore calling on the Government to negotiate for a period after Brexit where goods will still be able to move between the EU and the UK without customs control – this period is needed to set up the systems that will allow goods to move without delay through our Ro-Ro ports, the channel tunnel and over the Irish land border,” he said.

Comment welcome at: brexit@rha.uk.net


Ministers shake up after election

A new government has been formed, with a number of ministerial changes relevant to road haulage but little change at the Department for Transport.

Chris Grayling stays as Secretary of State, John Hayes also stays and is thought to have retained haulage and Highways England, which should allow continuity on lorry parking and training. Other changes are  

·         Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Jesse Norman

·         Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Paul Maynard

·         Lords Minister – Lord Callanan

HMRC minister Jane Ellison failed to retain her seat and has been replaced by Mel Stride, previously a whip and before that parliamentary private secretary to John Hayes. We will immediately raise the issue of overnight allowances.

Robert Halfon is sacked as apprenticeships minister at the Department for Education, after just a few months. Robert Goodwill – who knows the industry well – moves to education but his role there is not yet clear.  We are pressing to ensure funding is easily accessible.


Rob Flello loses seat

Rob Flello, who set up and chaired the all-party parliamentary group on freight transport and also sat on the transport select committee, lost by a small margin in Stoke (South).  Flello was the industry’s strongest back-bench advocate and worked well with the RHA. Both professionally and personally, we are sorry that he will not be at Westminister.

Flello was a strong advocate of Remaining in the EU in a constituency that had one of the highest Leave votes.

Other backbenchers with an interest in the industry to lose their seat included Jason McCartney and, transport committee member Karl McCartney (no relation).


Trailers presented for a brake test must be laden

The DVSA has instructed that vehicles must be laden for testing - ideally to 65% of their total maximum weight.

DVSA recommendation is that you should load your vehicle yourself if you can. If you can't, you'll need to arrange for someone else to do it.

Some ATFs offer this facility. They can inform you in advance if they do and how much it will cost. 

Tri-axle semi-trailers can be tested unladen. This is because it can be difficult to get a load for these trailers.  However, the best way to pass a brake test is to always present a loaded trailer.

For more information refer to DVSA’s heavy vehicle brake test best practice guide.


RHA Transport Warhousing and Distribution Group seminar - 29 June

The RHA's Transport Warehousing and Distribution Specialist Group is holding its 24th Improving Business Performance Seminar on 29th June. The event is being hosted by PTV Group at their premises in Halesowen. A range of topics are being covered from innovation in route optimisation; Brexit: warehousing risks and opportunities to the hot subject of overnight allowances and self-employment status. We are delighted that Alastair Kendrick, specialist tax expert is able to join us. 

Alastair Kendrick is an employment tax specialist who is the policy tax adviser to the RHA. Alastair is a former HM inspector of taxes in which he was involved in all aspects of tax compliance. Alastair works with the RHA's Jack Semple to address tax issues facing members of the RHA. His involvement includes extensive help on the issue of status and sleeper cab allowances.

The event starts at 9.30am, with registration and refreshments available from 9am, and will conclude around 2.30pm. The event is free to TWD Group Members. For non RHA group members the cost is £15.00 + VAT which includes one year's membership to the group. For further details please see flyer and booking form


Self-employed drivers

The RHA is meeting HMRC on the issue of self-employment status for lorry drivers later this month.  Any members with feedback or queries should email: j.semple@rha.uk.net


Lorries, walking and cycling

The RHA represented the industry at a conference in Glasgow to promote cycling and walking. Director of policy Jack Semple supported many of the measures proposed at the “Active Lifestyles” event and stressed the need for a rounded approach to problems.  Where cycles lanes are built they should be well designed, built and maintained – and used as a replacement for the highway, rather than addition to it, he said.