Budget Announcement: Fuel Duty Frozen
The RHA is extremely disappointed that the Chancellor failed to reduce fuel duty in today's Budget.
Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “At a time of Brexit uncertainty, the Chancellor had the golden opportunity to make the production and distribution of UK goods more competitive.
“Fuel duty makes the UK less competitive - we have the highest fuel duty in Europe - nearly 50% higher than the European average. And despite the 7-year freeze, at 57.95 pence per litre, fuel duty remains grossly excessive. It has a negative effect on everything we buy and makes all UK made goods more expensive to transport.
“We implore the Chancellor to amend his budget and introduce a fuel duty rebate scheme for essential users of fuel – a system already adopted by 8 EU member states, including our nearest neighbours – The Republic of Ireland, Belgium and France.
“An Essential User Rebate of 10 pence per litre would enable our hauliers to gain advantage over their European counterparts and would considerably lessen the fiscal drain on our emergency services which are also in a financial stranglehold as a result of the high price of diesel.
“Let the sectors that work tirelessly to keep the economy moving and the population safe, well and fed be rewarded, not punished.”
How Will Direct Vision Standards Affect You?
TfL published its expected Direct Vision Standard (DVS) consultation late last week. In addition to the DVS, the consultation proposes that all lorries entering London will have to be assessed against DVS rules and need to obtain a permit. Those vehicles with zero star ratings under DVS rules will be required to have additional equipment on them to improve detection of vulnerable road users.
The RHA will be examining the proposal and the impact assessment in detail and will share opinions on it with members in the coming weeks. The consultation is open until January.
Read our press release HERE. Our earlier comments on the proposal can be found HERE.
Brexit: Land Transport Agreement
The RHA has been in Brussels promoting its proposal for a post Brexit land transport agreement. On Monday, the IRU Brexit task force met with representatives from the European Commission and the UK Government. Discussions were wide ranging, covering issues including customs and market access.
The Commission followed its familiar lines saying discussions on wider issues cannot start until the three issues from phase one have progressed sufficiently. The UK was open about wanting to have a comprehensive and simple approach to market access in the haulage sector.
The RHA proposal for a Land Transport Agreement can be found HERE.
Home Affairs Committee Warn About Brexit
Last Thursday the Home Affairs Committee published a paper expressing concern over the resources available for customs post Brexit. The RHA has been highlighting this issue for over a year as a key risk for the sector and the economy. We have been working with HMRC, Treasury and Border Force to develop solutions that will maintain rapid movements through our ro-or ports.
So far no concrete proposals have come forward that will radically improve customs processes to ensure rapid movement of lorries through ports.
As things stand we can expect that all shipments will require customs clearance once Brexit is implemented, given this the RHA will shortly produce brief guidance for members on early preparations for post Brexit customs.
RHA Oppose Kent Parking Restrictions
The RHA has become aware of expanding new parking restrictions in parts of Kent - make sure you read our press release HERE.
We believe this is dangerous and have asked for an immediate change in the restrictions and the enforcement that has been put in place. The RHA will be attending with a meeting on Friday with Kent County Council and others to discuss parking issues further. We are awaiting a response from Kent to our recent letter, and RHA and some members have contacted local MPs about this issue.
Operation Stack Holding Area is Rejected
The Road Haulage Association is disappointed to learn that the Department for Transport’s Judicial Review into the planned lorry park in Kent has been rejected.
The judges ruled that the proposed holding area for Operation Stack at Stanford West, designed to provide safe and secure parking for approximately 3,600 lorries, cannot go ahead because no environmental assessment was carried out prior to the review.
Read our press release HERE.
Help Us Stop Hire & Reward Tractors
Many members complain from time to time about the use of large farm tractors to carry non-agricultural loads for Hire & Reward. This is clearly in breach of DVSA rules and we are keen to complain on members behalf. However we need firm evidence. If you have any examples you or your drivers have seen – ideally place, date and time, number plate of tractor or photo – please could you email our Director of Policy Rod McKenzie.