RHA Messenger 26 July

26th July 2017

TM in name only

Masters Haulage Ltd has had its licence revoked and its Transport Manager, Philip Haynes-Smith has been disqualified indefinitely.

Traffic commissioner Nick Denton found that Haynes-Smith had been a full-time driver and manager in name only. Director Shaughan Genna ran the business without a functioning TM, had entirely ignored drivers’ hours rules and had failed to send vehicles for safety checks.

Of Genna, Denton said: “His irresponsibility…is of the gravest concern.”


Danger of distraction

Surrey Police has highlighted that hands-free phones could be a distraction, following a fatal crash. No evidence is available as to why 66-year-old lorry driver Paul Russell went through a red traffic signal in Lingfield but it is noted that he was on Bluetooth at the time.

Russell, who was said to have otherwise driven immaculately, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Judge Roger Chapple said: “The fact that you were on the phone must have had a great deal to do with [his going through a red signal].”

Russell was given a two-year suspended sentence and a 5-year disqualification from driving.

Read more from the Surrey Police HERE.


Brexit warning from IRU

Failure to agree a deal covering road haulage could lead to chaos at border crossings and seriously compromise trade potential between the UK and the EU, says the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

A comprehensive deal is essential, addressing issues such customs procedures and duties, mutual recognition of documents and training, and weights and dimensions, the IRU says.

The comments from the IRU – of which the RHA is an active member - are made in a press release issued with the start of Brexit talks. (HERE)

The RHA is in continuing dialogue with government departments.

Comments welcome at brexit@rha.uk.net.


HE road condition misses target

Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has published its assessment of the performance of Highways England. It found that England has one of the safest road networks internationally and that HE has performed well in keeping traffic flowing. It has kept 98.4% of its network open to traffic against a target of 97% in 2016-17.

HE still has work to do, the report says.  At the end of 2016-17, the proportion of network in good condition was at 94.3%, below its target of 95%. The RHA is urging investment in road quality, traffic signalling and information; and also in improving the provision of secure, appropriate lorry parking facilities.

Maintenance of non-HE roads in England are not covered.


Overnight allowance meetings

The RHA had a further meeting with HMRC officials about the overnight allowance last week, the second this month.

HMRC is again re-drafting guidance as to what it requires of employers and drivers, following our requests for greater clarity. It is agreed that while evidence – mostly receipts – of costs incurred is required, it is no longer required to be roughly averaging £26.

We have again argued that while greater clarity is necessary, HMRC needs to re-think its approach and go back to something more like the system as it was until April this year. We feel that our discussions so far have strengthened further the case that we have set out, which is summarised HERE.

Further discussions are planned.