Roadway Update 31 March 2021

31st March 2021

Details on new Covid testing for lorry drivers arriving in England

The Government has confirmed that commercial vehicle drivers will be amongst those who will need to provide a negative Covid-19 test when entering the England from outside the UK.

The negative test must have been taken within 48 hours of arrival, and those remaining in the UK for longer than two days will be required to take additional Covid tests every three days.

These rules will come into effect from next Tuesday, 6 April, and affect drivers of lorries, coaches and vans.

Read more about this ‘bespoke testing regime’ here.


IR35 – Tax Change coming your way: are you ready?

The Government’s clampdown on self-employed staff “off the books” – postponed because of the Covid crisis, comes into force from Tuesday 6 April.

Essentially, it’s an attempt to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance by paying people as freelances when they should be paid as staff. 

For our industry, lorry drivers have claimed to be freelances when in fact they were working for just one company: this means they weren’t taxed under PAYE rules or deducted the usual National Insurance contributions, therefore getting a higher take home pay and paying less tax.

The RHA’s Road Transport Tax Consultant Alastair Kendrick compiled these notes for us. Read a full summary of what you need to be aware of here.


New DCMS guidance pushes back return of coach trips

We have received updated guidance from DCMS which suggests that coach trips should not operate until stage 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown, Monday May 17 at the earliest.

This directly contradicts the ruling guidance, safer transport guidance for operators, and which we believe governs the sector.

RHA Operations Manager for Coaches Andy Warrender said that the guidance appears to have little in the way of any rational foundation, and seems to have been arrived at in a somewhat arbitrary fashion.

Read more on RoadwayLive here.


Changes to VED rates come into effect tomorrow

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates will be changing from tomorrow, Thursday 1 April.

Earlier this month Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, announced the following changes to vehicle excise duty as part of the 2021 Spring Budget:
• an increase in VED rates for cars, vans and motorcycles in line with the retail price index (RPI) for vehicle licences taken out from 1 April 2021.
• a freeze on the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) VED rates from 1 April 2021
• a 12-month extension to the HGV Levy suspension from 1 August 2021.

The updated rates of vehicle tax are available here.


Suspension of services for EU-bound HGVs at Manston

A significant step towards normality on Kent’s roads is being taken with the suspension of services for EU-bound HGVs at the former Manston Airport site.

Since Sunday 21 March 2021 the Department for Transport-owned site no longer offers Covid-19 tests or customs checks but can be reactivated at short notice if necessary.

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.


Relaxation of drivers’ hours enforcement has ended

The current, temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules has ended as of today, Wednesday 31 March.

The relaxation was brought in as a response to the exceptional pressures on the freight industry due to the continued consequences of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In January, DfT introduced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales for drivers involved in the international carriage of goods by road and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

More Information:
All road haulage sectors within Great Britain

International and Great Britain to Northern Ireland carriage of goods


National Pet Day – get involved! 

We want to highlight the vital role that our members play in keeping the UK moving, and highlight your hard work on National Pet Day, which is coming up on April 11. 

If you're involved in moving pet food, your dog comes with you in the cab, deliver to vets, you have an office pet, or you do anything else that involves pets, get in touch with us and we'll promote your work (or your four-legged colleagues!) across our social media channels. 

We all know that haulage and logistics are absolutely vital to the UK, and National Pet Day will be a great opportunity to remind people that without trucks, their pets don't get treats! 

Send your photos and information about how you're involved with all things pets to