The RHA has called on Northern Ireland's Department for Infrastructure to better support hauliers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
John Martin, RHA policy manager for NI, has told Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon it's vital to establish greater engagement between the Department and the haulage industry.
A number of key subjects were raised during today's call, including hauliers being denied access to toilets at regional distribution centres, which the RHA is extremely concerned by.
He also called for the Minister to consider a range of other key issues, including:
- Extending the regular daily rest provision for ferry journeys,
- Temporarily relaxing vehicle weight restrictions,
- Extending the validity of Driver Certificates of Professional Competence that are due to expire,
- DVA officials contacting companies within the last two weeks to arrange operator visits despite the ongoing pressures the sector is under,
- Contingencies around driver licence renewals, driver medicals, digital driver card replacements, working time relaxations, defective recording equipment relaxations and operator licensing renewals and financial standing etc if companies are closed.
- The impact of the reduction in general non-food related freight movements to GB and mainland Europe, resulting in the potential reduction for return loads of essential goods or significantly increased costs for essential goods from these locations and higher costs being borne by the operator.
The RHA will continue to work closely with government bodies, haulage firms and trade bodies in Northern Ireland to ensure that hauliers in NI can keep working safely and efficiently as they continue to keep the supply chain moving in these incredibly trying times.
Further updates on important issues will be provided as soon as more information becomes available.