LGV and van drivers: negative COVID test required before travelling to ports
LGV and van drivers travelling to or via France must have proof of an authorised negative COVID test, conducted within 72 hours of travelling across the border.
Government urges drivers to get an authorised test at an independent site, or one of 34 information and advice sites before travelling to ports.
LGV and van drivers leaving England for France can only cross the Channel with evidence of an authorised (click here) negative COVID test, that has been conducted within the 72-hour period before their departure. This measure is mandated by the UK and French governments, and will stay in place until further notice. Drivers without an authorised negative COVID test taken within the 72-hour period will be turned away
You should get tested before you arrive at a port:
LGV and van drivers also can get an authorised negative COVID test from a private testing facility (click here)
Testing is also now available at the Information & Advice sites across the country. Testing is being offered at 34 sites today (Friday 8 January), but please check here for the latest opening hours and information.
Please ensure you are familiar with and following the correct Covid Protocol rules when travelling. Full guidance available here.
If your test result is positive you will need to take a confirmatory PRC COVID test; you will not be able to leave the UK or access any UK port until you have done so or have isolated for 10 days.
You should leave the site immediately and obtain a confirmatory PCR COVID test at one of the NHS Testing Facilities.
You will need to self-isolate until you receive a negative test result, or for 10 days.
HGV drivers using Dover and Eurotunnel will get fast-tracked past queues if they get tested, and have a valid Kent Access Permit (here), before arriving in Kent.
Testing is available at Manston Airport and Ashford Sevington in Kent, but there is a chance of severe delays.
COVID testing facilities are available at Manston Airport (Postcode CT12 5FF) for HGV drivers heading to Port of Dover.
Eurotunnel traffic must continue to go via the M20, where HGV drivers without a negative test result or a valid Kent Access Permit will be directed to Ashford Sevington.
COVID testing is not available at any medical facility in the Kent area. If you visit a medical facility you will be turned away.
You must not leave your vehicle to try and be tested at another site.
Once tested, it will take 40 minutes to get a result.
If your result is negative, you will be directed to your departure point.
If your result is positive, further information will be provided on site and support will be available.
We are doing everything we can as quickly as possible to help you continue on your journey. Thank you for your patience.
Drivers should check @KentHighways and Highways England for the latest traffic updates before travelling to Kent.
Kent Access Permits
HGV drivers must have correct documentation, including Kent Access Permits, before arriving in Kent to ensure they can cross the Channel.
HGVs carrying dangerous goods
Drivers of HGVs carrying certain types of dangerous goods must get tested for COVID-19 before arriving in Kent.
goods that are high consequence from a terrorism point of view
Drivers of HGVs carrying any of these goods will be refused access to these sites and must get tested for COVID-19 at alternative sites before arriving in Kent.
If you are not sure whether your load falls into one of these categories of dangerous goods, confirm with your company or consignor before departing from the depot.
Testing is available at various information and advice sites across the UK (click here). Check whether the motorway service station or truck stop you plan to visit has any restrictions for certain dangerous goods before you travel.
International haulier update
We have 2 important updates for hauliers travelling outside the UK.
Annual test exemptions for vehicles and trailers with test exemptions travelling out of the UK
As some vehicles and trailers continue to operate under 3 or 12-month exemptions, we have published a letter which can be carried as evidence of annual test expiry date extensions.
The letter shows all the new test dates by month, for 3 and 12-month exemptions.
It is not a legal requirement to carry this letter, but it might help if you are stopped outside the UK.
What you can do
The guidance pages have been updated to include a copy of the exemptions letter to download.
You may also carry either:
a copy of our email confirming exemptions have been applied to vehicles on your specific O licence
a print out from MOT test history of the vehicle’s test history (here)
If your vehicle should have an exemption and the expiry date has not been updated, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Driver Qualification Card (DQC)
To help ensure that drivers transporting goods or passengers have up-to-date documentation, we will issue new DQCs to drivers who had previously received 7 months extended validity.
More information on the previous extension.(clickhere)
The new cards will show the extended expiry date of the Driver CPC qualification.
Drivers will automatically receive their new card in the post. They must carry this card on their person at all times when driving professionally. For further questions, email us at email@example.com
France has just announced that it will allow French and EU nationals and British residents living in France into the country from midnight tonight – provided they can present a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours.
According to Sky News, the French PM’s office says it will announce specific measures to resume trade and haulage from the UK to France „in the coming hours”.
France’s Transport Minister has confirmed that boats, planes and trains between the UK and France will be able to operate again from tomorrow.
Despite the news, hauliers are being warned not to travel to Kent tonight.
PCR test results can take anything from a few hours to a few days to process. As details regarding road freight and lorry drivers is expected later, it could be the case that drivers will be tested using faster lateral flow tests. According to to the Times, this will indeed be the case and military shall be deployed to help conduct the tests.
However, a document seen by Sky’s Andrew Connell, which shows lorry drivers among a list of those people allowed to enter France, says that a negative PCR test, or an antigen test that detects the new variant, is required.
According to Harvard Medical school, some antigen tests can be completed in 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, following complaints of a lack of facilities at Manston Lorry Park, a further 70 toilets are to be added to the 150 already on site. In addition, Kent County Council have installed more portaloos on the M20.
For the latest traffic information on the M20, visit the Highways England website.
(Credit photo: the Guardian)
Lorry drivers stuck in Kent following the closure of France’s border to the UK have been handed fines for parking in lay-bys. Meanwhile, an arrangement to open France’s border with the UK for accompanied goods remains elusive.
It is hoped that some kind of agreement on the border reopening can be reached by lunchtime today. However, as it stands, the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel shall remain closed for the rest of today.
The lack of movement has brought huge congestion to roads in Kent, and forced most lorry drivers to stay in their cabins until the situation changes. Many of those drivers have little or no access to proper toilets or showering facilities. On top of that, a lot of them will not make it home to their families in time for Christmas on account of the delay.
To make matters worse, some lorry drivers parked in lay-bys have been handed parking tickets by the authorities in Kent. As we revealed earlier this month, Kent County Council have been granted special powers by the UK Government to issue parking fines.
Now it appears that these powers are already being used. Yesterday afternoon, Paul McNamara of Channel 4 News photographed a truck that had a parking penalty tucked in under its windscreen wiper.
The decision to clamp down on illegal parking has enraged lorry drivers operating in Kent, many of whom have no option but to park in undesignated areas due to congestion. Some drivers have even suggested they will not conduct deliveries in the region as a result if the fines.
Yesterday lunchtime, France’s Transport Secretary said that a Europe-wide plan on how to deal with the new coronavirus variant was to be announced „in the coming hours”.
However, by the time UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered his Covid-19 briefing yesterday evening, no arrangement had been reached. At the time of writing this still remains the case, though Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed that the UK and France are „working to get a resolution”.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s claim that there were only 174 lorries stuck in queues has proven to be completely false by Highways England. Johnson made the claim during yesterday’s Covid-19 briefing, but Highways England have since confirmed the real number was around 900 as of late last night.
ITV correspondent Joel Hills also said sources close to Port of Dover and Eurotunnel were „baffled” by the PM’s insistence that there were only 174 lorries parked on the M20.
Photocredit: Paul McNamara / Twitter
On Saturday evening, a number of major cities in France became subject to a 9pm-6am curfew designed to limit the spread of Covid-19. Those who need to work outside their homes during this time will require a certificate.
According to France 24, the curfew affects 20 million people across the country. Around 32,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 were recorded in France on Saturday – the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.
The curfew applies in the Paris region and eight other large cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse.
Lorry drivers can work in areas where the curfew applies, however, they will need a certificate in order to prove they are breaking the curfew for professional reasons.
The curfew is expected to last four weeks, although it could be extended after that period. Failure to respect the curfew could result in a fine of up to € 3,750 if the offense is repeated; a first offence will see someone fined €135.
The certificate can be processed and downloaded here
In the coming weekends, roadworks will result in the imposition of a traffic ban on the Austrian A13 motorway for heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes. Drivers can also expect difficulties in Italy, where the A22 motorway is to be closed.
For the next three weekends, there will be a traffic ban on vehicles over 7.5 tonnes on the A13 between Nößlach and Brenner-Nord. The section will be closed to heavy goods traffic due to roadworks between 5 PM on Saturdays and 8 AM on Sundays, according to the Austrian transport association AISOE.
The ban concerns the following weekends:
31 October – 1 November
Fortunately, the Brenner Rail Cargo Group, the freight division of ÖBB (Austrian state railways), has developed a package of support measures for road transport in consultation with the Tirol authorities and the ASFINAG motorway administration of Austria.
Over the next three weekends from Saturday to Sunday, the so-called RoLa will offer truck shuttles in both directions between Brennersee and Wörgl. Additional connections will allow the transport of vehicles loaded with, for example, goods requiring fast transport or perishable goods (the latter are excluded from the weekend traffic ban) to their destination in good time. Exact train departure times, free parking spaces and direct booking options are available at www.rola.at.
Closing of the Italian A22 motorway
In connection with the roadworks carried out on the Austrian side, the Italian authorities have introduced a similar ban on the A22 at the Austrian border.
According to local media, vehicles over 7.5 t will not be able to enter the A22 motorway section to the north, between Vipiteno (Sterzing) and the border with Austria this coming and next weekend. The ban will apply from 4.30 PM on Saturday to 8 AM on Sunday. This restriction also applies to commercial vehicles that carry perishable goods, while it excludes those that continue on the RoLa train that have a reservation for transport within Brenner.
Trucks that will already be travelling in the province of Bolzano on the Brenner motorway at the beginning of the ban will have to stop at the Sa.Do.Bre parking lot in Vipiteno or other places indicated by the traffic police.
Switzerland, which is a transit country for many goods transported on European roads, wants to partially adopt new EU rules banning overnight stays in truck cabins.
Although Switzerland is neither a member of the European Union nor of the European Economic Area, its politicians see a need for adopting rules that apply to the EU transport market.
The Council of Nation (the lower house of the Swiss Parliament) wants to improve working conditions for truck drivers. It adopted the proposal by Bruno Storni, a councillor from the canton of Tessin (Tessin/Ticcino), to ban regular weekly rest periods in the cabin of the vehicle. The proposal will now go to the Council of Cantons (the upper house of parliament), says the official website of the Swiss parliament.
According to the councillor, the ban on overnight stays in the cabin will, on the one hand, counteract social dumping in transport and, on the other, promote the transfer of road transport across the Alps to rail.
Truck drivers will need a permit to enter Kent after the Brexit transition period ends, the government has said.
The announcement comes after a letter from cabinet minister Michael Gove warned that queues 7,000-trucks-long could clog up roads around the port of Dover and Channel Tunnel.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Gove said the Kent Access Permit system would be enforced by police and ANPR cameras.
It is intended to ensure drivers have all the paperwork they need, he said.
Drivers of lorries weighing more than 7.5 tonnes will need to apply for the permits online and show that they have all the paperwork they need to ferry goods to Europe.
Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, responsible for no-deal planning, wrote to logistics groups with the government's "reasonable worst-case scenario" planning for when the UK leaves the EU's single market and customs union rules on 1 January.
In that scenario, he said just half of big businesses and 20% of small businesses would be ready for the strict application of new EU requirements at the border.
"In those circumstances that could mean between only 30% and 60% of laden HGVs would arrive at the border with the necessary formalities completed for the goods on board," he told MPs.
"They'd therefore be turned back by the French border authorities, clogging the Dover to Calais crossing."
He said it could lead to delays of up to two days for drivers waiting to cross the Channel. Although he said those queues were likely to subside after businesses learned from seeing their cargo denied access to the continent.
The transition period is due to expire at the end of the year but only a quarter of businesses are "fully ready" for the post-Brexit arrangements, Mr Gove said.
Imports will also be disrupted in January, according to the letter sent to the freight industry by Mr Gove.
It also raises the prospect of a winter spike in Covid-19 leading to absences of port and border staff.
Labour's Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves, said: "It is incredible that ministers are only now admitting to their plans to arrest British truckers for entering Kent without new travel passports.
With just over three months to go, how are businesses meant to prepare amid this Conservative carnival of incompetence?'"
The picture of chaos at the border might be familiar from a similar set of projections made for no-deal Brexit a year ago as part of what was known as Operation Yellowhammer.
The government says this is not a prediction but an illustration of what could be reasonably expected.
Moreover, Mr Gove told parliament on Wednesday the government was "absolutely determined to do everything that we can to secure a deal".
According to the Cabinet Office document, without a free trade deal and in its reasonable worst-case scenario, there may be "maximum queues of 7,000 port-bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days".
"Both imports and exports could be disrupted to a similar extent," it says.
The EU is expected to impose full goods controls on the UK, stopping all freight without the correct documentation at the end of the transition period on 1 January.
The disruption is assumed to build in the first two weeks of January, and could last three months, or longer should France rigorously apply Schengen passport checks on hauliers at Dover and the Channel Tunnel.
The purpose of this stark communication is to try to get traders to act now to get ready for new border formalities that could help mitigate the disruption.
Mr Gove told the industry that this needs to happen irrespective of whether or not there is a deal in the UK-EU trade negotiations.
In response the freight industry says putting in place the measures needed to avoid border delays will be "a huge challenge for government and industry".
Logistics UK, representing road, rail, sea and air haulage firms says it is urging businesses to quickly install and understand the new processes they will need to use.
But firms need early access to both UK and EU systems so that they can conduct testing and training before 1 January, it says.
A recent meeting between the industry and government was described as a "washout", with insiders describing the relationship as "fraught" and hauliers fearful that they were being cast as the "fall guys" for delays and disruption likely in January.
There are further issues should there be no trade deal agreed. Hauliers would have to rely on special permits rationed by the Department for Transport, though a mutually beneficial deal here is possible.
But discussions on these issues await settlement of the impasse in negotiations on state aid and fisheries.
Industry sources have raised the possibility that the UK would have to sign up to EU rules limiting driver hours, in order to get access to EU roads.
And there is a specific new reference to France imposing strict passport checks at the "juxtaposed controls" currently designed to offer seamless travel across the Channel.
"There also remains a risk of continuing disruption caused by Schengen controls being applied rigorously at the juxtaposed controls at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel," the document says.
This week the Spanish Ministry of Transport published a draft bill that would introduce fines for road transport delayed payments.
The Spanish government wants to fight against serious delays in payments for services that national carriers struggle with. The transport unions’ federation from Spain, Fenadismer, reports that 65 percent of carriers’ customers were late with payment for services in August. The average time-to-payment amounted to 85 days, with as many as 72 percent of “latecomers” significantly exceeding the 90-day payment deadline.
The draft amendment to the Act on land transport, which will introduce sanctions for late payments (i.e. exceeding the 60-day payment deadline), provides for the following fines:
– for amounts of debt not exceeding EUR 2,000, the fine may be up to EUR 2,000;
– for amounts of debt between EUR 2,000-4,000, the fine may be up to EUR 4,000;
– for amounts of debt exceeding EUR 4,000, the fine will be EUR 6,000.
The coronavirus has further extended payment backlogs in the Polish transport industry
In Poland, payment backlogs are to be counteracted by the law whose provisions have been in force since 1 January. It has introduced reduced payment deadlines in transactions between entrepreneurs. For example, public institutions have to pay their dues within 30 days (with the exception of medical entities, which have 60 days to do so.) If micro, small or medium-sized companies transact with a major counterparty, a payment term exceeding 60 days cannot be included in their agreement.
In addition, large debtors who fall behind with payments should be prosecuted ex officio. The Office for Competition and Consumer Protection will intervene, if the total of the entrepreneur’s outstanding liabilities within 3 consecutive months amounts to at least PLN 5 million. Such a threshold is valid until 2021.
Unfortunately, despite the legislative package, the situation in Poland still does not look good, because – due to the coronavirus pandemic and the related lockdown – payment backlogs have been extended. According to the survey conducted among transport companies at the beginning of April, 67.2 percent of entrepreneurs experienced extended payment deadlines for their services.
Ferries between Dover and Calais have been suspended due to a strike by staff at the French port.
The 24-hour closure of the Port of Calais began at 8am on Thursday.
Ferry operators DFDS and P&O Ferries normally run a total of up to 50 sailings per day between Dover and Calais.
DFDS has switched one of its Calais ships to the Dover-Dunkirk route to provide extra capacity.
Freight vehicles and passengers due to travel between Dover and Calais with DFDS on Thursday are being shipped on the next available Dover-Dunkirk sailing instead.
The Port of Dover said in a statement: “We will continue to monitor the situation closely in liaison with our ferry partners and the Port of Calais.
“Please note that there may be delays to services when the Port of Calais reopens and services resume to normal.
Most UK freight forwarding and logistics firms fear they will have insufficient staff to undertake the additional customs-related work required from 1 January when the UK’s Transition Period after leaving the European Union ends and believe government announcements, publications and information need to be more accurate and clearer.
Following a survey of its members, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) reports that a majority of respondents have significant reservations over whether they will have the capacity to handle the major changes to the UK’s trading relationship at the start of 2021, such as new customs documentation and procedures.
Nearly two thirds – 64% of respondents – felt they would not have sufficient staff to undertake the additional customs-related work that will be required from 1 January, a proportion that has risen significantly since a similar survey was conducted in May.
Robert Keen, director general of the trade association that represents Britain’s freight forwarding companies, says he believes that the results of BIFA’s latest survey of members clearly demonstrate that much greater clarity is needed on government plans for the border.
“The results indicate that the recent publication of the Border Operating Model and Moving Goods Under the Northern Ireland Protocol have not greatly assisted members’ understanding of procedures regarding imports and exports between the EU and UK, and GB and Northern Ireland, respectively,” Keen said.
In a general question on their understanding of the UK government’s plans for the border after the end of the Transition Period, more than half of the respondents said that they either had no knowledge, or what knowledge they do have needs improving.
In regards to the Border Operating Model, while 70% of respondents said they understand the Customs procedures required to import goods into the UK from the EU at the end of the Transition Period, fewer than half said that was the case in regards to Safety and Security Declarations. This was also the case with respondents that are involved in the import of live animals, and/or products of animal origin, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
The results were broadly similar for procedures to be followed for export movements from the UK to EU, although 79% said they have no understanding of import procedures in individual EU Member States regarding export movements from the UK to EU.
Northern Ireland confusion
Asked whether they understand the correct processes relating to trade between mainland GB and NI under the ‘Moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol’ process, the overwhelming majority of respondents said they do not understand the customs procedures, nor the safety and security declarations that will be required.
When asked about their familiarity with the following processes or organisations, the negative responses “were equally worrying”, BIFA said. “More than half of the respondents said they had no familiarity with the Goods Vehicle Management System (GVMS), whilst more than two thirds said the same about the Smart Freight Service; and the Trader Support Service (which applies to businesses in Northern Ireland only).
Keen added: “In a similar survey conducted in May this year, 50% of respondents felt they would not have sufficient staff to undertake the additional Customs-related work that will be required from 1 January 2021. In the latest survey, that has increased to 64% of respondents – which makes sense in light of the fact that 69% of respondents in our latest survey said the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted on their ability to prepare for the end of the Transition period.”
Asked whether they would like to receive more information from government on various issues, an overwhelming majority said yes: 86% for import/export customs procedures; 71% for controlled and licensable goods; 82% for safety and security declarations; 77% on the Goods Vehicle Management System (GVMS); 85% on the Smart Freight Service and 62% on the Trader Support Service (Northern Ireland only).
BIFA was concerned to hear that over 50% of respondents said they have not received direct communication from government on EU exit or the end of the Transition Period, and of those that had, less than 40% found it clear and accurate.
On a more positive note, the overwhelming majority of respondents (88%) said that they are aware of the Government’s Customs Intermediary Grant Scheme to assist with training, new IT and recruitment costs’ whilst 72% said they have already made use of the scheme, or intend to do so.
Keen added: “Our previous survey found that the majority of respondents believe that an extension to the transition period was desirable, if no trade deal is agreed by 31 December 2020 and UK trade with the EU is conducted on WTO lines.
“Whilst government chose to ignore the appeal for an extension that we made to them, based on that finding, we know that it is capable of listening to advice from business.
“We hope that they will be willing to listen to the significant reservations that have been expressed by the companies that are on the front line in the management of the UK’s visible imports and exports, including 80% or more of customs entries, in regards to their preparedness for the end of the transition period.”
In a letter to Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, seen by Lloyd's Loading List, whose signatories include Logistics UK, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), they said:
“Following recent meetings with the Border and Protocol Delivery Group, HMRC and the Department for Transport, concern is growing from the logistics sector as to the Governments and Nations preparedness for transition.
“Our concern is so strong that we have collectively agreed to request an urgent roundtable meeting with yourself, The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Transport. As key participants in the supply chain who will be required to deliver a functional operating border for GB and EU traders next year, we have visibility of the current state of preparedness which as it stands has significant gaps.”
The letter continued: “If these issues are not addressed disruption to UK business and the supply chain that we all rely so heavily on will be severely disrupted. The areas of concern that we need to discuss and will form the agenda for this urgent roundtable meeting are as follows:
Grant Funding for Intermediaries: a) Current UK and EU Readiness b) Current recruitment status and blockages c) How the industry and Government can build capacity quickly?
IT and Systems Readiness: a) Single “Entry Process Unit” (EPU) b) GVMS vs French SI Brexit c) Smart Freight d) Trader Support Service e) Trader/Haulier readiness and timeline for delivery
Physical Border Infrastructure - Pace of Government Delivery: a) Location - What is needed and where? b) Border Inspection Posts c) Digital infrastructure and timing”
The letter concluded: “The COVID pandemic has demonstrated to both Government and the general public the importance of a free-flowing supply chain and with transition occurring at the same time as a potential second COVID spike it is critical we ensure the supply chain is protected.
“We are asking you to take seriously our concerns and listen to the detail during this roundtable so that we can collectively help Government manage through this enormous challenge with as little disruption as possible. Our aim, like yours, is to have a functional and effective border that allows goods to flow from 1st January 2021.”
Media reports quoted BIFA's executive director, Robert Windsor, who said: “It is patently clear that, on the political front at least, there is a complete lack of appreciation of the enormity of, in effect, constructing a new supply chain after 50 years of completely free trade with the EU.
“The very significant difficulty in trying to link all the parties . . . is neither appreciated nor acknowledged.”
Also quoted was the chief executive of the RHA, Richard Burnett, commented: “The government has to listen and grasp the detail, because the issues being raised are not being resolved fast enough.”
Yesterday, Logistics UK highlighted what it called a “lack of pace” in some government preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period could put the UK’s interconnected supply chain at risk, according to trade body, Logistics UK.
It said that while some of the systems being developed to manage the flow of goods and border processes are making good progress, the industry is concerned that the new Smart Freight system - which will need to be used by every company involved in exporting goods to the EU - will not be ready in time for adequate testing and staff training.
Brussels appears to have rejected a British proposal that would allow UK truckers to continue to pick up and drop off goods inside and between countries in the bloc and have transit rights to places like Turkey, as it is too similar to granting access to the EU’s single market.
However, trade body Logistics UK is urging the government to keep pressing for a deal with their European counterparts.
“Leaving the EU without a free trade agreement would hurt businesses on both sides of the Channel, putting pan-European supply chains at risk and potentially driving up the price of trade between the UK and its biggest trading partner,” said Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK’s policy director.
“There are two sides to every border, and we are very hopeful that the EU will recognise the economic benefits to having continued access to the UK market for its hauliers, while acknowledging the contribution that UK hauliers bring to their own market. After all, the EU’s hauliers do double the value of haulage trade in the UK that the UK’s own operators do in the EU.”
She added: “Logistics UK is hopeful that a compromise can be reached in negotiations - without one, the situation for both UK and EU hauliers is very bleak, as the alternative permit system provides very little access on either side of the border, and the resulting slowdown in traffic across the border would put the nation’s interconnected supply chain at risk.”
Yesterday, The Times reported that progress on a Brexit deal is being threatened by Brussels’s refusal to grant UK truckers wide-ranging access to the EU, as formal negotiations resumed.
It said negotiators were expected to clash on the future of the haulage industry after it was reported that the European Commission rejected a British request for trucking access as “fundamentally unbalanced”.
The newspaper quoted the Road Haulage Association’s managing director of policy, Rod McKenzie, who said: “This is all about smooth movement of traffic from the UK to the EU and vice versa. What we want in the world of road haulage is a deal because only through having a deal could we have a relatively smooth passage of freight, which is all important to us.”
The EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned publicly last month that Britain could not expect to retain its present level of access to the EU after the transition period ends at the start of next year. He singled out road haulage as an area where the UK “continued to request single-market like benefits.”
Bloomberg reports that the government will be able to start construction in 29 different council areas without the approval of local officials, according to a statutory instrument laid before Parliament last week. The areas included stretch from Devon and Somerset to Warwickshire and Suffolk, it said.
The government has already started constructing holding facilities for lorries in Kent that will be used to park goods vehicles that may lack the correct paperwork to take good into the EU after the UK exits its Transition Period from the EU on 31 December.
The holding areas are said to be a key part of Britain’s plans to avoid border delays from 1 January, when full customs controls will be imposed on goods traveling from the UK – whether or not the UK reaches a trade deal with the EU.
According to an explanatory note accompanying the legislative instrument, the order “grants temporary planning permission for development consisting of the use of land for the stationing and processing of vehicles (particularly goods vehicles) entering or leaving Great Britain”.
In response to the emergency legislation, to allow for the allocation of a reported 29 potential sites for lorry parks across the UK, Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s policy manager for road infrastructure, commented: “Logistics UK supports the development of suitable infrastructure to assist with border readiness; these sites are essential to keep disruption on the UK’s roads to a minimum post-transition period, and for keeping trade moving as smoothly as possible across borders. We have been urging the government to ensure that drivers will have access to facilities, such as toilets and showers, if they are to be held in place for some time and are therefore pleased to see that the Order includes a provision for welfare facilities.
“However, we urge the government to ensure that the sites are placed in appropriate locations – close to road networks and fully accessible for commercial vehicles; for example, they should be placed away from unsuitable roads and low bridges. And while the lorry parks are likely to be a temporary solution as new systems, processes and demands are embedded post-Brexit, it is important that the authorities remain mindful of local businesses and residents, with road disruption to be kept to a minimum.
“Logistics UK is also calling on the government to ensure that the sites are staffed with qualified officials who have the means and the authority to get a vehicle border ready if the driver does not have the full paperwork required; this will be essential to keep traffic moving as quickly as possible and protecting supply chains from further disruption.”
Logistics UK is one of eleven logistics organisations that last week wrote to Michael Gove, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, demanding an urgent meeting with him and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, amid growing concern within the logistics industry that Britain’s borders will not be ready in time for 1 January.
Results from Wave 12 of our Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) for the period 10 to 23 August 2020 show 95% of responding businesses had been trading for more than the last two weeks. 11% of the workforce in currently trading businesses remain on furlough leave, with 63% of furloughed employees receiving top ups to their pay.
The volume of retail sales is now 3.0% higher than before the coronavirus pandemic, having increased by 3.6% on a monthly basis in July 2020. While total sales (particularly for food and non-store retailing) have now recovered, the pandemic has changed the shape of the retail industry, with clothing sales still 25.7% lower than they were in February 2020.
Despite signs of the economy beginning to bounce back, the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) on record at 20.4% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020.
Labour productivity for Quarter 2 2020, as measured by output per hour, fell by 2.5% when compared with the previous quarter – the largest fall since estimates began. The fall in output per worker was steeper at 19.9% compared with the previous quarter because of the impact of the furlough scheme that retains employees as workers even though they work zero hours.
Provisional estimates indicate the impact of the pandemic on public sector finances. The £150.5 billion borrowed in April to July 2020 was almost three times the amount borrowed in the whole of the latest full financial year (April 2019 to March 2020).
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Due to a special operation, the Kent Police are currently checking all freight and tourist vehicles, and therefore the traffic in and around Dover is very heavy and causing extraordinary delays.
Currently, there is stationary traffic on the A2 Jubilee Way coastbound at A20 (Eastern Docks roundabout) and congestion to the Shepherdswell turn off, which is nine miles away. Traffic is also very slow along the A256 from Whitfield heading into Dover. One lane is closed on the A20 coastbound between B2011 (Court Wood Interchange, Capel Le Ferne) and Dover (Western Heights roundabout, Dover) with congestion to Junction 11 (Hythe) of the M20 J11 (Hythe).
At port, the buffer zone is currently full, with Dover TAP in place. Check-in is clear and you will be placed on the first available sailing.
There is freight chaos on the roads with huge delays at both the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel and Operation Stack in place.
Increased security and border checks at the tunnel has led to waits of several hours, while traffic scheme Dover TAP has seen queues of nine miles build.
As of today (Thursday 20 August 2020) changes have been made to the EU drivers’ hours and tachographs rules.
After reading the detailed guidance, if you still have any queries related to the changes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mobility Package raises a lot of controversies and has its supporters as well as opponents. For drivers, changes in regulations are an opportunity for much better working conditions. Carriers are not happy with the new regulations, as they entail new costs for them. However, both parties need to comply, as the Mobility Package was published last Friday. The first changes will be applied in just over two weeks and concern rest.
The first changes related to the Mobility Package will take effect as early as 20 August 2020. Carriers will then have to face new rules on obligatory rest. The driver’s work must be planned in such a way that he can rest outside the cab, in conditions allowing for regeneration, after which he will start his next journey without causing any danger.
The European Commission, which proposed the above amendments to international transport law, aimed at improving road safety, protecting drivers’ working conditions and preventing distortion of competition resulting from non-compliance.
New regulations concerning rest
While most of the new rules of the Mobility package will be implemented within 18 months from the date when it will be published, some of them will be applicable immediately upon entry into force of their revised regulations (561/2006 and 165/2015) in 20th / 21st of August.
What are the several rules of the Mobility package that will apply from 20th / 21st of August?
These rules concerning driving and rest times and the return of drivers to their home countries will be implemented soon:
• The weekly rest of 45 hours or more must not be taken in the vehicle. It should be taken either at the suitable accommodation provided / paid by the employer, or at the home base or another private place of rest.
• Mandatory return of the driver to the origin country every 4 weeks for each period of 3 or 4 consecutive working weeks. An obligation for the employer to organize the work of drivers in such a way that the driver is able to spend at least one regular weekly rest period or a weekly rest of more than 45 hours taken in compensation for reduced weekly rest in the country of establishment of the haulier or the driver’s place of residence once every 4 weeks.
• The new possibility to reduce weekly rest time. It will be possible to take two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods (24 hours) for drivers engaged in international transport of goods, under the condition that the driver takes at least two rest weekly periods during the fourth consecutive week.
• The new possibility to exceed the daily and weekly driving time by up to two hours in order to reach the employer’s operational center or the driver’s place of residence to take a weekly rest period.
Exceptions for taking a break or rest in the cab
Only drivers on a ferry or a train will be allowed to take a rest in the cabin. However, there is a condition – there must be a berth or couchette in the cabin. Another situation in which a break in the cabin is allowed is a multi-man crew course. The resting driver must not be involved in helping the person driving the vehicle. This option only applies to 45-minute breaks.
If you want to know more about the changes that the Mobility Package will bring about – download the free guide here.
|Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency have reveled they plans going forward, these are as follows:
"Our plans for heavy vehicle testing
|Heavy vehicle testing restarted at Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) on 04 July 2020.
As you know, we’ve been issuing certificates of temporary exemption (CTEs) to vehicles and trailers due for test.
We’re now able to confirm our longer-term plans to help manage testing demand:
· Exemptions will be in use until March 2021
· 3-month exemptions will continue for all vehicles and trailers that have not already received one
· 12-month exemptions will be introduced for certain operators, vehicles and trailers
Issuing further exemptions
Vehicles and trailers due for test up to March 2021 will get a 3-month exemption if they have not already received one.
But certain vehicles and trailers due for test up to March 2021 will get longer exemptions.
What is the criteria?
Fleets which are considered to be safer will get 12-month exemptions.
Newer vehicles and trailers, Earned Recognition operators and those demonstrating a higher level of compliance generally have the lowest test failure rates.
How will this work?
All exemptions will be applied automatically.
3-month exemptions will apply from the original test date. For example, a vehicle with a test originally due in September 2020 will be moved to December 2020.
12-month exemptions will also apply from the original test date. For example, a vehicle with a test originally due in March 2020 which got an exemption to September 2020 will be moved to March 2021.
The full table of exemptions and new test dates is included at the end of this message.
For Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), the exact date of expiry will be retained. So, if the vehicle is due for test on 15 September 2020 and gets a 3-month exemption, it will move to 15 December 2020.
Operators of dangerous goods vehicles who are getting an exemption for the first time should complete the application for an ADR annual inspection waiver to keep their inspection date in line with the new test date.
Further information will be provided directly to dangerous goods operators.
12-month exemptions - eligible operators
Longer exemptions will only be applied to vehicles and trailers specified on operator licences.
All eligible operators should ensure their vehicle lists on Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) are up to date by 21 August 2020. Trailer data can alternatively be provided in an Excel file. We will provide details to operators on how to do this for trailers.
Operators with a green OCRS roadworthiness score can find out if they will qualify for a 12-month exemption by asking for a copy of their OCRS report covering the 3 year period to 27 July 2020.
12-month exemptions - eligible vehicles
Longer exemptions will be applied to vehicles and trailers which are up to 2 years old. This will not be linked to OCRS score or operator licence status.
If an exemption has already been issued to the vehicle or trailer, the test date will be made up to 12 months.
This will retain the test date and month of the original test prior to any exemption being issued.
When will exemptions be applied?
We will begin to apply 3-month exemptions immediately.
12-month exemptions will be processed from 24 August 2020 and we will start with vehicles and trailers which are due in for test in August 2020 (those with 3-month exemptions issued in May 2020).
Some PSVs will not get longer exemptions prior to their August 2020 test expiry date because the individual expiry date is before 24 August 2020.
You can use MOT test history to confirm vehicle test expiry dates.
You should continue to manage the regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your vehicles and trailers during the exemption period. This is a legal requirement under your operator’s licence.
What advice have we given to ATFs?
We’ve given ATFs guidance on the vehicle tests they should prioritise. The highest priority are those vehicles and trailers which legally need a test.
So, we’ve asked ATFs to prioritise:
1. Vehicles/trailers legally due a test within a month
2. Vehicles/trailers going on international journeys
3. Dangerous goods vehicles
4. Specialist vehicle types (eg. refuse vehicles, gritters)
5. Prohibition clearances
If you will now benefit from longer exemptions and have tests booked in the next few months, we would like you to reschedule those appointments to create space for vehicles which will legally require a test.
What if my exemption is expiring and I cannot get a test?
It’s important that vehicles and trailers are only presented when tests are due.
We’ll be making more testing staff available to ATFs at short notice. So, it’s worth checking availability several times with a range of ATFs.
If you’ve taken all reasonable steps to find an appointment and you are unable to secure a test, you’ll be able to notify us. We’ll provide more information about this shortly."
People planning to travel to Belgium or return to Belgium after staying abroad must read the latest travel tips (available on the website of the Office for Foreigners) and fill out the passenger location form 48 hours before arriving in Belgium.
The Passenger Locator Form can be completed online and is available in English, French, German and Dutch.
The form must also be filled in by truck drivers, explains the Association of International Road Transporters.
People staying in Belgium for less than 48 hours and people returning to this country after a stay abroad of less than 48 hours are exempt from this regulation. If any information provided on this form changes within 14 days of filling it in, you will need to re-fill it with the updated details.
Consultation on Operation Brock Enforcement Powers
|The Department for Transport (DfT) wants to hear your views on proposed revisions to Operation Brock enforcement powers. These have been developed with help from the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) and industry experts.
The revisions are to ensure the KRF and its partners have the necessary enforcement powers to manage Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV – goods vehicles weighing 7.5 tonnes or more) congestion caused by potential disruptions to Dover Straits crossings.
The new laws (Statutory Instruments or SIs) will also allow for HCVs that are deemed non-border ready via the Smart Freight Service to be denied access to the port.
The Smart Freight Service
The Smart Freight Service (under development by HMG) is designed to help HCV drivers understand if they are border ready at the point of loading goods.
As a responsible Government, we need to ensure we have contingency plans in place for the potential for any short-term queues caused by unready HCVs.
Rather than conduct border readiness checks in Kent again, we propose making the use of Smart Freight mandatory. Combined with detection and enforcement, this could help reduce the impact on Kent, by reducing the number of unready HCVs that reach Kent in the first place.
Share your views
The DfT is running a three-week consultation to allow the industry to review plans and give their views. Find out more about plans and respond.
Electrified long-haul traffic
The eHighway system is based on a safe and proven infrastructure to provide a continuous energy supply to heavy commercial vehicles. It can be integrated and operated within the existing road infrastructure without significant effort and combines the efficiency of electrified railroads with the flexibility of trucks, halving energy consumption while maintaining full mobility. The eHighway system enables trucks to use renewable energy and can contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions. Both the ecological and economic advantages of the eHighway system grow with increased use of the route.
- Economical and sustainable alternative for road freight transport
- Significant reduction of CO2 emissions
- Substantial cost savings for freight carriers
A British research has found that building a network of overhead cables and adapting lorries could pay for itself within 15 years. This £19 billion ‚e-highway’ system “could slash carbon emissions by 5%”, the study says.
The government-funded report carried out by The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight has found that building a network of overhead catenary cables along 7,500 km of the UK’s major road network would electrify approximately 65% of HGV km, at an estimated cost of £19.3b. According to the report, it is technically viable, economically attractive and could be achieved by the late 2030s.
The study states, when combined with battery electrification of urban delivery vehicles, this ‘electric road’ network would almost completely decarbonise UK road freight. The investment by vehicle owners in the pantograph electric vehicles could be paid back in 18 months, through lower energy costs. This would ensure rapid take-up by the road haulage industry.