Changes coming to the Road Haulage Industry

I belong to a group of lawyers – the Association of Road Traffic Lawyers – who are experts in all things road haulage which meets twice a year to discuss the industry generally, and any coming changes to legislation that will affect our clients.

We meet with Traffic Commissioners and senior officers of the DVSA, who are able to tell us what is coming.  These are the highlights of November’s meeting.  Please note that these are mainly future amendments, so may not be in force yet.

Transport Managers

  • The number of hours that Transport Managers will be expected to dedicate per vehicle is to be halved.
  • This has always been a “rule of thumb”, which is being relaxed to take into account the growing use of technology to monitor drivers and vehicles across the industry.
  • Put simply, Transport Managers can now monitor remotely more easily, and this takes far less time.
  • It may well be that companies will be able to save money by reflecting these new guidelines in their applications.

Traffic Commissioners

  • The Traffic Commissioners for England & Wales are to delegate more of their powers to the administrative staff in Leeds, so that uncontentious applications and routine amendments can be dealt with far more speedily than at present.

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency

  • The DVSA is trying to shift its focus more towards perceived ‘problem’ hauliers. This is to be achieved by working with industry leaders in order to develop remote monitoring systems, thereby cutting back on costly and time consuming stop checks for companies that are usually compliant.
  • It is hoped that this will enable the DVSA to target resources at companies that are a concern.
  • The new system is being trialed at the moment. It will see a system of desktop monitoring for compliant companies, “nudge interventions” for those about whom the agency has some minor concerns, and more serious interventions in relation to those it has real worries about.
  • The DVSA hopes that in this way, non-compliant companies will be forced to improve in order to stay in business: each intervention costs companies time and money.  One recent estimate put the cost to the haulier of each roadside encounter at £4-5,000.
  • One recent example of this sort of targeting saw every unit belonging to a single foreign company being pulled over simultaneously!

For more information on all road haulage matters, email, or call 0121 201 3765.

Regan Peggs
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