Business group Logistics UK has recognised the need for today’s announcement by government of a temporary, limited extension to road haulage cabotage – the system under which overseas hauliers can transport goods between two places in the UK after completing their initial journey. But as the organisation’s Head of Road Freight Regulation Policy, James Firth, explains, the extension will force more drivers to park overnight in lay-bys.
“Our members supported a temporary, limited extension to the system as this will mitigate some of the impacts caused by the current driver shortage for the supply chain,” he explains. The breathing space provided by the extension will enable British drivers to be recruited, trained and tested. Logistics UK’s priority is supply chain resilience, and that we keep Britain trading.
The length of time permitted for overseas drivers to work for hire or reward in the UK is an area of concern for Logistics UK, as Firth explains: “During the consultation on the new plans, Logistics UK asked that the period of cabotage be for seven, not 14, days. By allowing non-UK hauliers to work in the UK for 14 days, the drivers’ legally mandated weekly rest will need to be taken in the UK. This will increase pressure on the existing allocation of HGV parking spaces, which the government itself assesses as being at least 1,400 spaces short, and will lead to more drivers being forced to sleep overnight on the sides of roads or in insecure locations.”
“It is also vital that the temporary nature of this extension is adhered to, to ensure competition from non-UK businesses has a minimal impact on British haulage companies. We have received a commitment from government that the arrangements will be reviewed after three months and that there will be increased monitoring and enforcement”.
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk