RHA Messenger 21 June

21st June 2017

We want your Brexit questions

Do you have a Brexit question? As formal negotiations get underway, the RHA is happy to receive questions from members and to give an assessment where the answer remains uncertain. Meanwhile, we continue discussions with the Department for Exiting the EU, HM Treasury/HMRC and the Department for Transport. Email > brexit@rha.uk.net


TfL wholesale ban of HGVs

Transport for London plans to ban up to 51% of HGVs over 12 tonnes entering London from 2020, not 2024 as originally alerted by the RHA back in April. TfL confirmed this, and other details about its Direct Vision Standards (DVS), at a meeting with stakeholders last Friday.

TfL’s “working assumption” is that 75% of tipper and concrete mixers will be banned by the DVS and half the tractor units currently entering London. This will include new Euro VI vehicles conforming to the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone standards.

The decision has already been taken to ban the vehicles and the consultation is “only a consultation on how to do it”, an official said.

No one knows at this time which vehicles will be banned – TfL have not shared any information on this. However the latest information from TfL indicates that half the above-12 tonne HGVs currently entering London will be rated as “zero star” and will banned – with criminal sanctions for those breaking the rules.

TfL are planning a “full policy consultation” in this autumn with a “final consultation in early 2018”. The scheme will go live in 2020 (less than two years after the final decision on the scheme).

The RHA is being strongly critical of the plan. We believe the plans are unproven as a significant road safety benefit, ignore changes in technology that may have greater safety benefits, will undermine London’s competitiveness, will increase air pollution and congestion, and will be costly for the people and businesses of London.


Overnight allowance update

The RHA is pressing the new government to discuss changing the new overnight allowance rules. In a letter to Mel Stride, the new financial secretary to the Treasury, we ask him to direct officials at HMRC to meet the RHA and consider the workable alternatives that we have put forward.

We are grateful to members who have written to their MPs, and have made it clear that we refute much of what those MPs have been told by HMRC and HM Treasury. We have also drafted a response to the Treasury’s call for evidence on overnight allowances, which reflects the shambles of HMRC’s introduction of the new checking requirement and the distress and anger it has generated across the industry.

Meanwhile, we re-affirm that a receipt for £5 in a random check appears to be acceptable evidence to pay the £26.20 allowance in full, although that is not confirmed by HMRC.


Ministers still without portfolio

Ministers evidently still do not know what their areas of responsibility are, as of Wednesday morning this week. The unusually long delay affects ministers including the Department for Transport’s John Hayes and newcomer Jesse Norman, and new appointees at the Department for Education, Robert Goodwill and Anne Milton. The delay in confirmation may reflect pressures elsewhere in government.


Lorry Ban Review – missed opportunity

London Councils review of the London Lorry Control Scheme – also known as the lorry ban - has now been reported.

The RHA has criticised the report as we believe it has failed to address the main problems with the current scheme (RHA Press Notice).  All meaningful changes to improve the scheme suggested by operators who participated in the review have been side-lined.   The key issues of hours of operation and the limited network of roads that can be used at night will only be considered “long-term” – an unspecified period greater than 18 months.

So, there will be no change to hours of operation or the limited network of roads that are outside the scope of the schemes restrictions.

The London Councils press notice and a link to the report can be found here.


RHA Transport Warehousing 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. Book your space now. 


ADR driver loses HGV licence

Action was taken against an HGV driver under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which resulted in fines totalling nearly £3,000 including costs imposed by magistrates; and then, in a later driver conduct hearing held by Fiona Harrington, deputy traffic commissioner for the north east, the driver’s HGV licence was revoked.

There is no legal process for the removal of a driver’s ADR licence. The driver, Mr S Carrington, is still entitled to drive motor vehicles below HGV threshold limits. RHA has voiced its concerns over the status of the valid ADR certificate to the Department for Transport.