Kent Parking Enforcement
The RHA has learned that the Department for Transport has agreed that the unclamping fees imposed in the restricted areas around Ashford can be increased from £40 to £150. This 275% increase is targeted on HGVs only. The increase has not been consulted on, nor has any consultation taken place.
The restrictions ban any parking at all by HGVs in a wide area around Ashford between 8.00pm and 7.00am.
The RHA has called for the restrictions to be immediately modified so that 45 minute breaks can be taken safely without harassment of drivers at any time. The RHA is also calling for more parking to be made available. Our press notice is available here.
Brexit: RHA Advice for Operators
As advice on how to prepare for Brexit has been very sparse so far, the RHA has decided to provide some information for operators.
The RHA has evaluated where we are and what we know to develop this initial advice for how operators can prepare for Brexit. The advice is based around what can be done now without wasting resources as things change. The advice deals with labour as well as issues relevant for international operators.
Two key messages from our advice is for operators to consider advising drivers to get full passports well before know deadlines, and for international operators to encourage better paperwork for international movements.
The gaps are significant as there is much to be resolved. Updates will be provided when more is known.
Download the advice here.
Severn Bridge Toll Reductions
As part of the planned scrapping of tolls on both of the Severn crossings that link England and Wales, the VAT element of the current tolls will no longer apply. From this week the toll charges for HGVs reduce from £20 to £16.70.
Further information is available here.
Met Police Sideline Vehicle Crime
The RHA has highlighted concerns over the Metropolitan Police not pursuing ‘lower-level, higher volume’ crimes such as vandalism, vehicle crime and fuel theft.
RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett says: “We’ve seen lorries targeted by criminals more than ever with the migrant crisis in Calais over the last few years, and this news is only going to add to the sense of unease amongst our drivers.
“Theft from large vehicles is often seen as a victimless crime. It’s not. Our industry runs on the tightest of margins so operators and suppliers can ill-afford to bear the cost of losing goods. But worst of all, for a driver it can be a horrendous experience.”
The RHA will be contacting the Metropolitan Police to ensure that vehicle crime for commercial vehicles is prioritised properly.
Improved Road Funding
The RHA has welcomed the Department for Transport’s announcement of funding for a number road improvement schemes. The Transport Secretary has launched a Major Road Network consultation which will decide on which projects will benefit from a cash-injection from the National Roads Fund.
Further details are available on our website.
RHA React to DEFRA Consultation
DEFRA has consulted on additional measures to improve air quality. The RHA has responded to DEFRA highlighting the serious problems with current approaches and recommendations being promoted by them.
In particular, the RHA has highlighted that the approach to treat all non-Euro VI vehicles the same is not in the best interest of air quality and it will be punishingly expensive. The RHA recently met with the Minister responsible for Clean Air Zones and made the same points.
This response will feed into the responses the RHA will make to consultations on Clean Air Zones around the UK. The full RHA response is here.