Road haulage news
What’s in the news for the UK’s haulage operators? The following titbits might give you some food for thought – or even spark a lively debate – when you are viewing the environment in which your business is working.
Faster and safer
The 6th of April 2015 sees the introduction of new speed limits for lorries – the first change for HGV speed limits since the 1980s.
From that date, lorries travelling on dual carriageways will be subject to a speed limit of 60 mph rather than the present 50 mph.
Because the new limit is designed to help HGVs participate in improved traffic flows, road safety is enhanced. Because it might also help ease congestion at current bottlenecks, the move has been widely welcomed by haulage operators’ organisations.
Price of fuel
The price of a barrel of oil may have fallen to a six-year low – according to the Guardian newspaper on the 12th of January 2015, for example – but it remains to be seen just how fairly this reduction in the price of crude oil translates into fuel costs for haulage operators.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) for instance calculates that fuel accounts for 40% of a haulier’s operating costs and has been actively campaigning for Fair Fuel policies with respect to the tax on fuel for the past four years.
Tax refunds for the fuel you bought in Spain?
Of more immediate appeal to operators who may have bought fuel for their lorries in Spain, a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice appears to suggest that up to €13 billion in tax on fuel has been improperly raised by Spanish authorities since 2002.
According to HGV UK, the ruling could open the floodgates for millions of applications for refunds.
Port of Dover
There is goods news for HGV operators using the Port of Dover to reach lucrative markets in Europe.
UK Haulier reports that as from the 3rd of February 2015, lorries are no longer required to be weighed prior to boarding cross Channel ferries, thus reducing some of the delays and red tape currently encountered.
Drivers must nevertheless still ensure that they are holding a formal weight declaration prior to boarding.
Working together – Freight Transport Association and Transport for London
The partnership between representatives of the haulage industry and Transport for London seems to be working well.
HGV UK reported on the 22nd of January 2015 that an initiative called the Industrial HGV Taskforce (IHTF) for London had resulted in the issue of more than 1,000 fixed penalty notices for HGVs in the capital in respect of minor infractions.
The issue of fixed penalty notices is welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) since it frees up the authorities to chase up more serious offences instead of those responsible for relatively minor offences.