Recovering from COVID-19 – help us secure more from government
The Government needs more information so they can better understand how to help you get your business back on its feet.
The Department for Transport has requested a survey, and they want to know how the pandemic is affecting you now, what support you need to get through the crisis, and what challenges you’ll face stepping up operations as the economy begins to recover.
Your help and feedback has given us a strong case to press them to listen to our industry and understand how COVID-19 is putting thousands of firms on the brink.
They are listening – but we need to do more. Now they want a bit more detail to better understand what’s happening in our sector and what support firms need to recover. Can you help?
These questions should take you around 10-15 minutes to complete.
You can find the full survey here.
Government announces “Bounce Back Loans” scheme
Following extensive lobbying by the RHA and others, the Government has announced an additional scheme to provide financial support to small businesses, including hauliers.
The scheme, which starts on Monday 4 May, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. The loans are interest free for the first 12 months, with businesses able to apply online through “a short and simple form”. Further information from the Government is available here.
Whilst the announcement is a step in the right direction, the RHA is clear that our sector needs further financial support.
We will keep up the pressure on the Government to introduce measures such as grants, business rates holidays, VED refunds for SORN vehicles and moving a weekly furlough model.
You can find more information about these loans here.
Virus testing for HGV drivers and other transport workers
The UK and Scottish Governments have announced that testing for the COVID-19 virus will be extended to people who are deemed to be essential workers. This includes many in the transport sector. The aim is to get frontline workers who are isolating back to work.
The tests determine if a person has the virus at the time the test takes place - hey will not establish if someone has previously had the virus.
Testing for transport workers will be through either drive through testing centres by appointment only, or through home testing.
For full details on how to get a test, including who is eligible, click here.
We need you to write to the Chancellor directly
If we are to get the support we need, we must maintain pressure on government - in particular on the Chancellor.
Using our dedicated website you can send our pre-written letter urging the Chancellor to support the measurers we have outlined. A copy of the letter will also be sent to your local MP.
A few clicks will enable you to directly influence this process.
I urge everyone reading this to spare just a few moments and make your voice heard.
Previous experience tells us that these letters are taken even more seriously when they include a personal comment from the sender. If you can, please insert a couple of sentences that detail your own thoughts within the opening couple of paragraphs.
Send your letter to the Chancellor here.
Letter from Scotland Secretary for Transport Michael Matheson MSP
We have, today, received a letter from Michael Matheson MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
“Everyone involved has shown how important they are as the industry continues to deliver essential supplies to people throughout Scotland every single day.”
To read Mr Matheson’s letter in full, click here.
Movement of abnormal, indivisible loads – update
Abnormal load operators received an email form Highways England (ESDAL) earlier this week on COVID-19 Abnormal Indivisible Load restrictions which stated that operators should not propose movements where Police notification is required unless the movement was urgent and clearly in the public interest.
This in essence would prevent the majority of abnormal movements and as far as the RHA was concerned went against the guidance received DfT which stated: ‘all logistics professionals need to continue to go about their business to keep supply chains moving, and government policy is clear that this applies to all supplies chains and not only those for food and medical supplies’.
RHA policy director Duncan Buchanan expressed our concerns directly with DfT which resulted in the following statement being issued.
Further to the communication on 17th April (made on behalf of DfT and the police) we have received concerns that the guidance would restrict business operations including of self-escorted abnormal loads notified to the police. That is not the intention of the guidance. It is intended that these movements should continue as before. Indeed, the intention is to enable as close to business as usual given in the current circumstances, in respect of abnormal loads.
Please proceed with the previous approach to notifications whilst the guidance is considered further, including with representatives of operators.
The current situation in which we all find ourselves right now is no reason to stop doing what we all do so well; communicating with each other.
For obvious reasons, we cannot currently do many things in the same way, but we can adapt. Something that we as an industry to extremely well.
We have already held some very successful regional member briefings and our next step is to hold free to attend webinars.
These will obviously cover the current situation and the necessary procedures regarding the current pandemic, along with updates on operator compliance and best practice measures. Ideally suited for those at the operational coalface and those with the TM Statutory obligations.
All webinars will begin at 11am and last for approximately 30 minutes.
We look forward to seeing you online!
To book your place on the next one, click here.
05.05.20 Managing drivers and the benefits of CoE Rachel Binns
07.05.20 London matters, DVS, LEZ’s etc Linda White
12.05.20 Roller Brake Testing, the requirements Will Salkeld
14.05.20 Driver Health and wellbeing – your responsibilities Simon Priest
19.05.19 Employment contracts and what they should contain Louise Moules
21.05.20 CAZ’s impact for operators Rhys Williams
26.05.20 Reducing Insurance Costs During Covid -19 RHA Insurance Services