RoadwayUpdate 23 October

23rd October 2019

Thirty-nine bodies found in lorry

The RHA is shocked at the report of 39 people found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex.

The lorry, registered in Bulgaria, is believed to have travelled from Zeebrugge, Belgium, into Purfleet on the River Thames. Reuters News Agency is reporting it then docked in the Thurrock area shortly after 00:30.

The lorry driver has been arrested and remains in police custody. 

Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner, Essex Police said: "This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our inquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened. We are in the process of identifying the victims; however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.”

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “This is subject to an ongoing investigation. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives, but whatever the circumstances of this tragedy it highlights the danger of migrant gangs people-smuggling on lorries.”

For the latest news follow RoadwayLive.

Listen to Rod McKenzie on BBC Radio 2 giving insights and information on people smuggling.


Full House at RHA Parliamentary Reception

The RHA’s annual parliamentary reception this week at the House of Commons was attended by 200 people including operators, stakeholders, Members of Parliament, Peers and Government officials.

Addressing the audience, Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, said that it was a privilege to have the opportunity of meeting so many members in the Association’s 75th year. 

“The level of Brexit communication to your members has been extraordinary”, he said. “Thanks too for working with us on the hauliers guide while, as you keep reminding us, never forgetting the traders.”

He was also keen to acknowledge the vital role of the industry in the economy. He also made clear his ambitions to support the sector resolve their many challenges.

Get the full story on RoadwayLive.


Skills shortage inquiry to Downing Street

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett has led a delegation from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Road Freight and Logistics to 10 Downing Street.

Delivering the findings of the APPG’s inquiry into the skills shortage, Richard Burnett commented: “We’ve made very clear recommendations to Government that will help resolve the issue, but action is needed now to avoid a crisis which could see supermarket shelves empty and other areas of the supply chain coming to a halt”.

A letter accompanying the inquiry asks the Prime Minister to urgently intervene to help reverse the growing shortage of HGV drivers which currently stands at 60,000.

Read more on Roadwaylive.


Standard operators’ financial standing post-Brexit

The traffic commissioners understand operators may need to manage short-term impacts if the UK exits the EU without a deal. In that period, some operators may not be able to satisfy the financial standing requirement.

If that happens, the Senior TC will ask commissioners to approve applications for a period of grace from standard operators who aren’t able to meet the required levels of financial standing.

Duncan Buchanan, Policy Director for England and Wales said, “The RHA welcomes this practical approach to deal with what could be a challenging period for some operators. It is not a blanket relaxation, but one that is designed to deal with initial “shock” impacts caused by a major change in trading conditions.”

Get more information online


Scottish drug driving law changes

On 21 October the Scottish government introduced roadside testing alongside new ‘zero tolerance’ drug driving limits for substances including cannabis and cocaine.

In a further effort to stamp out drug driving north of the border, drug or drink driving carries a minimum driving ban of 12 months, as well as up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

Read the full story on RoadwayLive.


Places available for next A to Brexit webinar

Next week will see the next Brexit readiness webinar from A to Brexit.

This can be attended from anywhere with an internet connection and is completely free. These will be led by experts from the RHA and leading industry law firm Backhouse Jones.

They will cover:

  • How a no-deal Brexit may affect the UK haulage industry
  • New customs processes which may come into effect
  • The responsibilities for traders and hauliers in compliance
  • Licensing changes and new requirements after Brexit
  • The changes that may impact driver documentation after Brexit
  • How Brexit may affect your insurance.

Key learning:

  • The new paperwork expected to be required after Brexit
  • How your procedures may need to change to be compliant after Brexit
  • How what you require from clients may change after Brexit
  • How Brexit affects your licensing requirements and how you can remain compliant
  • What documents your drivers may be required to carry.

Register for your place online.