Haulage Regulations Relaxations Extended By Government
The government has temporarily extended some relaxations to its rules that were set to take effect after October 2021, which would have affected operators of haulage equipment in the UK and the EU.
The first is the extension to cabotage, the movement of freight across the UK by HGVs registered in another country.
This is often undertaken by long haul drivers who make the trip from the EU to the UK to deliver goods, before delivering goods from one place in the UK to another and was previously restricted to just two cabotage legs within seven days of entry into the country.
The extension will allow unlimited cabotage legs for up to 14 days after arriving in the UK, allowing an EU based driver to work in the UK for two weeks before having to return to the EU without having to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).
The second major rule change is a continued relaxation of the EU drivers’ hours regulations, allowing either for a temporary increase in daily driving or a replacement of the weekly rest periods requirements to an alternative specified rest period.
This does not override the working time directive, where drivers can only drive a maximum of 60 hours per week, with an average of 48 hours a week over six months.
It also requires evidence that there is a risk to human and animal welfare should the regulations not be relaxed, such as a risk of shortages of food, fuel and medicine.
The response to both of these relaxations has been mixed, with the Road Haulage Association, in particular, expressing “extreme disappointment” that these measures have been taken instead of adding HGV drivers to the Shortage Occupation List and changing the Driver’s CPC requirements.