RoadwayUpdate 29 January

29th January 2020

Safe over smart, says RHA

Better refuge areas and clearer signage are essential if smart motorways are to be made safer says the Road Haulage Association.

BBC's Panorama (27 January) revealed that 38 people had been killed on smart motorways in the last five years and 'near misses' on a section of the M25 had risen 20-fold since the hard shoulder was removed in April 2014.

Commenting, RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: "Smart motorways undoubtedly increase capacity but they are not as safe as they should be. They need bigger and more frequent refuge areas and better signage to ensure drivers understand when hard shoulders are closed to active running. These are important issues on which we have been expressing our concerns since hard shoulder running was first introduced on the M42 in 2006."

Read more on RoadwayLive.

In a Facebook Live forum with Highways England, the RHA's Rod McKenzie spoke with Mel Clarke, HE's Customer Service Executive Director (Operations Directorate) about smart motorways.


Two days to Brexit

With the deadline to Brexit day looming large the RHA's chief executive, Richard Burnett, has written to Boris Johnson, urging the prime minister to ensure trucks continue to move freely between the UK and EU after Brexit.

The RHA proposes a 'Market Access Agreement' to allow UK hauliers to continue to travel to, through and from the EU without having to apply for permits – with reciprocal arrangements for EU truckers.

Read more on the RoadwayLive.

Duncan Buchanan, RHA Policy Director England & Wales has also examined what leaving the EU means for haulage.

To help those moving goods by road between the UK and Europe, the RHA has produced some clear and simple summary information about exactly what will happen after 31 January 2020.

Read Duncan's full piece on RoadwayLive


Truckers must get a permit or get a £550 fine

Thousands of HGV operators are being warned that they face £550-a-day fines if they fail to take part in London's Direct Vision Standard scheme.

The scheme, which comes into effect in October 2020, is designed to help to reduce road deaths in the nation's capital.

Operators have until 26 October to obtain a free "direct vision standard" permit for their lorry, which gives it a "star rating" based on its safety features and measures to reduces blind spots.

Read more on RoadwayLive


Cracks in Northern Ireland's MOT system

Since yesterday, 28 January, more than 7,000 MOT tests have been cancelled as 48 out of 55 lifts used in NI's MOT centres are showing signs of cracking.

Whilst inspections of HGVs and buses continued, a lack of MOTs in the Province will have a considerable road safety impact.

John Martin, the RHA's policy manager for Northern Ireland, has appeared on BBC News to highlight the issues the region is facing over the lack of MOT facilities in the area.


Lower Thames Crossing consultation open

The consultation into Highways England's proposed Lower Thames Crossing is now open. 

Up for discussion will be the latest Lower Thames Crossing design changes, including the Rest and Service area and its location.

The eight-week consultation began today (29 January) and will end at midnight on 25 March.

Read more on RoadwayLive.


Have your say: A303 traffic scheme

Highways England have launched a new survey to help understand the needs of local companies and businesses that use the A303 past Stonehenge.

Feedback from the survey will help Highways England to plan the proposed upgrade of an eight-mile section of the road between Amesbury and Berwick Down, including a 2-mile tunnel which will remove A303 traffic from a large part of the Stonehenge landscape.

Get the full picture on RoadwayLive.