Road Haulage Association

Haulage Industry News

Tag Archives: DVSA

A budget for the voters…just not these ones!

Chancellor George Osborne delivered a highly political budget on 19 March.

With a General Election looming this was no surprise. If you are: employed, a first time house buyer, a saver, like beer, work in the entertainment industry and live on a Scottish island with no Internet; you got a result.

As far as this industry was concerned, yet again, we got some cold comfort.

The Chancellor failed to make a financial commitment to targeted funding for hauliers to address the driver shortage, despite intensive lobbying by the RHA.

The rejection at this stage of our call for support is a poor decision for the economy, for tax receipts and for the industry. But we note his commitment to finding an: ‘industry-led solution with the right level of access to, and funding support for training.’ We look forward to further discussions.

The government will review the speed with which HGV driving tests and driver medical assessments currently take place and will consider options to accelerate both in order to help address the shortage of qualified drivers.

I understand the issues here are down to a lack of resources at DVLA and DVSA. The government has to address this, otherwise any ‘industry-led solution” will stall before it gets off the line!

The expected announcement of a continuing freeze on fuel duty was a relief all the same; but the government still hasn’t got the message that a cut would bring broader economic rewards.

HGV VED was frozen and there were wins for small businesses and all businesses will welcome the reduced rate of corporation tax.

Our lobby for funding support and all other driver shortage related issues will now be even stronger in the coming weeks. I would like to thank the many RHA members and other organisations that have supported this work so far and continue to do so. But with the election only five weeks away all of you have a golden opportunity to bend the ear of MPs and potential MPs.

The current administration could be gone by 9 May and what replaces it needs to take a crystal clear message from our industry into government. It’s a simple equation: No drivers, no trucks. No trucks, no deliveries. No deliveries equal shortages. They’ll get the next bit.

Meanwhile, the RHA is committed to pressing ahead with its programme of advising members, promoting the industry and working to improve drivers’ conditions.


Richard Burnett


Getting our points across

It is good to see that our man at the ministry, Stephen Hammond MP, does take our industry seriously; and wants to know about the needs of all road users, including hauliers.

A couple of weeks ago, the RHA’s Director of Policy, Jack Semple, acting chief executive, Nick Payne, and myself met with the Minister a few days after he had been driven round the streets of London by RHA member Peter Eason of ELB Partners.

This gave Mr Hammond the opportunity to see, first-hand, the problems that face LGV drivers every day. One issue that is of keen interest to the Minister is the issue of cyclists, and Peter Eason was not disappointed when they were undertaken by a lady cyclist; no hi-vis jacket, no helmet but with ear phones in place while texting on her mobile phone. How crazy are some road users?

The meeting we had with Mr Hammond was held at the Department for Transport in the late afternoon, which in the end was to be a bonus for us as we did over-stay our allotted time. Of course cycling and entry to construction sites was high on the agenda, and he did remark on his visit to ELB. We also told him that hauliers were finding it more and more difficult in keeping up with what the construction industry required, as different sites required hauliers to fit different equipment. We suggested there should be some common practices put in place by official bodies, rather than the ad hoc process we seem to be up against.

There were several questions asked about DVSA (formerly VOSA). In particular, rooting out seriously non-compliant operators. He thought that the OCRS scoring was doing this but we had to correct him noting that the industry was finding that there are too many inconsistencies, and that DVSA needs to make sure all their staff, sing off the same hymn sheet. We also pushed the case to permit private examiners to conduct DVSA annual vehicle testing – with DSVA staff monitoring and audit the system. This would create more flexible test timings, so enabling our industry to be more productive by getting vehicles back on the roads quicker. The other item aimed at DVSA was the Restricted “O” License. We pointed out that many of these operators do not abide by any of the obligations that we as Standard Operators do, despite using similar sized vehicles and the same roads. We pressed the point that they should also be more accountable; bearing in mind the rest of Europe does not have this inequality in operating standards.

On the matter of Drivers CPC we have again pressed the point of being able to have three and a half hour periodic training courses, stressing the point that drivers do lose their concentration after sitting in a class room for seven hours, and that the shorter sessions would be more interesting and absorbing for them.

One very interesting point made by the Minister was that in early March we will finally find out what is happening in regards to raising the speed limit for HGV’s on single carriageway A-roads to 50mph. He would not be drawn as to which way the decision would go, but hopefully in the next few days, we will, at least, see some reward for the RHA’s hard campaigning on the issue.

Having been given the chance to speak to the Minister, we don’t expect immediate results but if we – along with people like Peter Eason – take the opportunity to get our points of view over to the people that make the decisions, we stand more chance of getting results that enhance and help our Industry. Never give up a chance to speak with people in authority. If people in our Industry continue to chip away, raising the profile of issues that affect us, eventually breakthroughs will happen.

Peter Barber