Roadway Update 10 March 2021

10th March 2021

UK Stats Authority reprimands Government in row with RHA over Brexit figures

There has been a significant vindication for the RHA’s stand on the problematic start of the new Brexit border arrangements.

The Cabinet Office run by Michael Gove has been reprimanded by the UK Statistics Authority for using “unpublished and unverifiable” data in an attempt to deny RHA figures that claim Brexit had caused sizeable reduction in trade volumes through UK ports.

The RHA had written to Michael Gove pointing out that a member survey had demonstrated a big fall in export loads – with many lorries travelling back to the continent empty.

The RHA called on the Government to hire more customs agents to make the flow smoother.
The Government’s response was that delays were “teething troubles” and that flows were close to normal at 95%. 
Those are the figures that the UK Statistics Authority has questioned.

Many other sources, from the RHA’s own members to French and other sources put the number of empties running back to Europe at around 45% - that is as much as double the normal empty flow. 

Read more on RoadwayLive here


RHA Border Survey – volumes still low, but improving

At the end of February, we conducted a second survey of UK-based international members regarding road freight volumes between GB and EU. This survey follows on from that which was conducted in late January.

This second survey shows that in week seven of 2021, road freight volumes between GB and the EU were still running much lower than the 2020 average. However, it also shows that volumes have increased significantly from the week three survey, conducted in January.

Figures for loaded GB trucks exporting were down by 47% in week seven (recovering from a fall of 68% in January).

Import lorry movements were significantly stronger, but still showed a decline of on 9% from the 2020 average week.

Read more on RoadwayLive here

Suspension of haulier services at Manston

All haulier processing operations, including COVID testing for hauliers, will be suspended at Manston Airport from 21 March.

All HGVs will instead access the Operation Brock traffic management system between Junctions 8 and 9 on the M20 coastbound carriageway, with one lane being used for Eurotunnel and the other for the Port of Dover. Any HGVs that attempt to take an alternative route outside of Brock risk enforcement action being taken against them.

HGV drivers who require a Covid-19 test before leaving the UK are strongly encouraged to take one before entering Kent in order to avoid delays. Any that arrive without one will now be directed to a single facility at Sevington, near Ashford.

Read more on RoadwayLive here

Bath’s Clean Air Zone ‘goes live’ 15 March

Bath launches its £23M scheme to cut air pollution in the city on Monday 15 March, but will the additional costs see businesses ruined?

From next Monday, drivers of non-compliant buses, coaches and HGVs will face a £100 daily charge to enter Bath’s £23M Clean Air Zone.

Vans, private hire vehicles and taxis deemed to be the most polluting will be charged £9 a day.

Drivers can click here to see if their vehicle will be charged.

Commenting, our Head for Environment and Regulation, Chris Ashley, said: “As far as the Bath proposals are concerned, the majority of car owners using Bath roads are not responsible for delivering the city’s economy.

“Bath shops and restaurants will soon, finally, see an end to lockdown. If the very vehicles needed to deliver the goods and services they need to recover have to pay an additional £100 each day, truck operators will have no choice but to pass the additional cost on to their customers. They cannot afford not to.

“Bath businesses, including truckers need incentives to rebuild their local economy – not penalties.”

Drivers can click here to see if their vehicle will be charged.

View a map of Bath’s Clean Air Zone.

Full details can be found here.


Another RHA win in next stage of collective claim against Trucks Cartel

The RHA has seen off an attempt by DAF to overturn part of the 28 October 2019 decision by the Competition Appeal Tribunal which found in the RHA’s favour and confirmed that its agreement with a third-party litigation funder (which deals with funding the RHA’s costs of its collective proceedings claim against the Trucks Cartel) was perfectly legal.  

DAF argued that the RHA’s litigation funding agreement is a so-called damages-based agreement within the meaning of legislation regulating DBAs and fell foul of DBA requirements. 

The Divisional Court agreed with the RHA that the 2006 legislation in which “claims management services” is defined was aimed at protecting consumers from “claims farmers” who were contributing to a “have a go culture” in the area of personal injury, housing, and financial services claims and was not aimed at third-party litigation funding. 

Moreover, Parliament had separately enacted a provision to regulate litigation funders in 1999 which, although not brought into force, remained on the statute book, and could be used to regulate litigation funders if so desired by Parliament.  

You can join the collective claim here


DfT confirms Kent’s lorry parking ban does not cover statutory rest breaks

The Department for Transport has issued a letter, explaining that Kent’s temporary lorry parking ban does not apply HGV drivers taking their statutory rest breaks.

This follows the introduction by Kent County Council of a temporary HGV parking ban on 4 January 2021, due to the potential short-term disruption at the end of the EU Transition Period.

DfT confirmed that if any driver/haulier believes they have been unfairly penalised, KCC have put an appeals process in place whereby an appeal can be raised and any related evidence submitted. This does not affect the rights for the case to be heard by an independent parking adjudicator.

In addition, HGV drivers are able to use the dedicated parking facilities at:
• Maidstone services – M20 Junction 8
• Medway services – M2, located between Junctions 4 and 5
• STOP 24 services – Channel Ports Truck Stop- M20 Junction 11
• Ashford International Truck Stop – Waterbrook Avenue, Ashford. TN24 0GB
• Dover Truck Park – Menzies Road, Port Zone. Whitfield. Dover. CT16 2HQ

You can access the full letter from DfT here.

Read more on RoadwayLive here