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RHA voices concerns regarding the future of UK Drivers’ access to the EU

As Brussels continues to refusal to grant UK drivers the access the industry will need to continue operating within Europe, the RHA has recently spoken out on the matter.

With Europe continuing to push for the removal of cabotage, it looks likely the UK will have to follow suit.

Please read more here.

Public inquiry attendees must not break quarantine rules

The following it taken from an email circular sent out by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.


PI attendees must follow the 14-day quarantine rule when arriving back in the UK from a country that is not on the exemption list.

In the short time since we reintroduced physical attendance at hearings, there have been several worrying incidents where people have arrived at a public inquiry almost immediately after flying back to the UK. This puts everyone’s health at risk and undermines the strict rules the government have put in place.

If you are due to attend a hearing within 14 days of returning to the UK, it’s vital that you check whether your travel destination is exempt from the quarantine rules. The rule can apply to all travel by coach, ferry, train or plane. 

The safety of attendees, commissioners remains the main consideration when holding in-person hearings. Our staff have completed thorough risk assessments and have put measures in place to protect the health of all concerned.

Please let OTC staff know as soon as possible if you cannot attend a hearing in person due to the quarantine rules so that attendance by video link can be considered.


Exemptions can be reviewed here.

Gov.uk

HGV Tyres over 10 years old are to be banned

Following on from a consultation that was carried out from 23rd June 2019 to 1st September 2019, tyres 10 years or older will now be banned under the new rules; which will make it illegal in England, Wales and Scotland for such a tyre to be fitted to the front axle of HGV, Buses and Coaches.

To see the full outcome, and to read an impact report on this ban please follow this link.

UPDATE: Further information is available from Gov.uk on this link.

London Congestion Charge raised to £15 a day, 7 days a week.

Under temporary measures are being introduced under the terms of Transport for London’s £1.6bn rescue package from the Government, the current price for the London Congestion charge will now rise to £15 a day, and will now apply to all seven days of the week.

Read an article covering these details at this link.

TC driver conduct decisions now published online

The following is taken from an email circulated by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.


The traffic commissioners have started publishing the outcomes of driver conduct hearings online. This follows widespread approval for this information in responses to a consultation in 2019.

As well as the regulatory outcome of the hearing, the information published includes:

  • the date of the hearing
  • the driver’s name
  • the driver’s year of birth
  • the first part of the driver’s postcode

Publishing this information will make it easier for operators to find out if a driver has been subject to regulatory action. This will help them to ensure that they do not use drivers who have not declared any action taken by a TC against their vocational entitlement to their employers.

The traffic commissioners have ensured they comply with data protection principles when publishing this data.

Read ‘Regulatory decisions made about the conduct of professional drivers

Office of the Traffic Commissioner updates Coronavirus advice

The following is taken from an email circular sent out by the office of the Traffic Commissioners.


The traffic commissioners (TCs) have updated their advice for operators during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The update issued on 23 June 2020 covers:

  • an increase in the maximum period of grace for financial standing from 6 months to 12 months
  • the return of in-person tribunal hearings from 6 July 2020
  • information about requesting temporary variations to local bus services ahead of a return to normal services as lockdown restrictions ease
  • virtual training

Read the TCs’ coronavirus advice for operators

Gov.uk

Coronavirus (COVID-19) statutory directions updated

The following is taken directly from an email sent out today by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.


The Senior Traffic Commissioner has updated his coronavirus (COVID-19) statutory document originally issued on 17 March 2020.
The update issued on 18 June 2020 includes reference to:

  • an increase in the maximum time allowed for a period of grace for financial standing an operator can receive from 6 months to 12 months
  • more information about in-person tribunal hearings in England from July 2020 (with hearings in Scotland and Wales likely to start a few weeks later as circumstances allow)

Financial standing periods of grace
The maximum period of grace for financial standing an operator can seek has increased.

Previously, it was a maximum of 6 months with the Senior Traffic Commissioner having set a 4 month starting point. The law has been changed to increase that maximum to 12 months with the STC suggesting an initial 6 month starting point. Any decisions about the grant or length of a period of grace will include an assessment of the risk to road safety.

This extension to the law applies to any determination made between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. This gives operators the opportunity to recover their finances during the extended period following the resumption of normal trading as the lockdown eases.

Tell your TC early if you have problems
You should tell your TC if you are experiencing any issue in meeting the financial standing requirement. The condition on your licence gives you a month to notify changes. The TC is likely to be sympathetic and will seek to assist wherever possible, especially given the difficulties arising from COVID-19.

If you can no longer meet the financial standing requirement you are strongly advised to contact the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at Enquiries@otc.gov.uk for advice.

Anyone who fails to do so can expect a TC to require explanations as to why they failed to comply, and it may result in a finding of loss of good repute.

Further information
The traffic commissioners have also published two other documents during the outbreak. We recommend you read them:

FORS to resume on-site Bronze Audits

Starting on 23rd March 2020, FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) due to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). But earlier today, they have now released a set of rules and requirements for carrying out Bronze on-site audits in light of the current easing steps undertaken by the Government.

To read about this more, and to see the guidelines; click here.

ADLV urges Operators to Maintain Driver License Checks during the Lockdown

The ADLV (Association for Driver License Verification), in a recent post to their website have urges fleet owners and operators to maintain a regular system of checks for their drivers; as expanding delivery fleets and the sudden return of car drivers to UK roads has prompted a spike in license checks.

To read the full article, please follow this link.