Legislation

Use our handy guide to keep up-to-date and find out more about recent legislation and government guidance relating to the UK's commercial road transport industry. 

Consultation on longer semi-trailers trial

The trial of longer semi-trailers (LSTs), which started in 2012 and was scheduled to run to 2027, has been paused and could be cut short, with the government seemingly having accepted the benefits they bring.

An industry consultation is now running until 1st February to gather views on whether the trial should be ended.

Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border

From 1 January 2021, HGV drivers and operators will need a Kent Access Permit (KAP) if their HGV is both leaving Great Britain from either the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel and is over 7.5 tonnes.

Businesses now need to use the government’s 'Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border' service and register for a KAP.

These permits will help manage traffic by confirming the right customs documents are in place for the goods being carried before setting off.

They will also help prevent any unnecessary journeys and reduce disruption at the EU border.

Not having a KAP or making a fraudulent declaration could result in a fine of £300!

Trader Support Service

From 1st January 2021, the Northern Ireland Protocol will come into effect and, as a result, there will be changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

To help businesses and traders of all sizes to navigate these changes, the UK Government has launched the Trader Support Service. This will:

  • Provide a free end-to-end support package to manage import and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders.
  • Educate businesses on what the Northern Ireland Protocol means for them, and the steps they need to take to comply with it. This includes online training sessions and webinars happening now.
  • Help to complete relevant declaration forms for all businesses moving goods into Northern Ireland under new processes in the Northern Ireland Protocol that start from 1 January 2021.

Sign up to the Trader Support Service today.

Government guidance on moving goods between GB and the EU

The Department for Transport has published its guidance for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods between Great Britain and the EU.

It tells drivers and operators what they’ll need to do from the end of the UK's EU transition period on 31 December – although some of the new rules are still being agreed between the UK and the EU due to the ongoing discussions on a trade deal.

Government sets up Brexit advice centres

In the run-up to the end of the UK's EU transition period, the Department for Transport has set up 45 centres at motorway service stations and truck stops across the UK where in-person advice is available for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods between Great Britain and the EU. A list and map of the sites are available on the government's website.

Ban on tyres 10 years older or over

After research commissioned by the Department for Transport and public consultation, the government has announced that it will become illegal to fit tyres 10 years old or over to the front wheels of HGVs, buses and coaches plus on all axles of minibuses when fitted in a single configuration.

The move has been made to improve road safety.

The ban will come into force in England, Scotland and Wales as of 1 February 2021, and will also apply to re-treaded tyres.

New rules on drivers' hours

Recent new EU rules on drivers' hours for goods vehicles include changes relating to the international carriage of goods.Operators must now organise work so that, within each period of four consecutive weeks, drivers can return to either their normal base or their home.

Also, weekly rest requirements are more flexible when a driver accompanies a vehicle that is being transported by ferry or train.

See the Government's summary of the rules on drivers’ hours.

Direct Vision Standard (DVS)

In London, HGVs are disproportionately involved in fatalities with pedestrians and cyclists. The DVS scheme is designed to help improve road safety in the city, particularly HGV driver visibility of vulnerable road users.

The scheme was announced by the Mayor of London and Transport for London  (TfL) in October 2019 and comes into force in March 2021 when an enforcement zone will be introduced into Greater London.

DVS uses star ratings, ranging from 0 to 5 and based on the HGV driver’s direct view out of their cab’s front and side windows. All vehicles over 12 tonnes GVW either entering or operating in the zone will be affected and will need to be either at least 1-star rated or comply with the scheme’s Safe System and have a Safety Permit in place.

Find out more by visiting the TfL website and download the DVS guide put together by our friends at Motormax.

Clean Air Zones (CAZs)

The Government has a long-term strategy to improve air quality across the UK by discouraging the use of older, more polluting vehicles. In addition, its short-term goal is to reduce the number of areas where air pollution breaches legal limits.

As a result, the Government tasked local authorities with improving air quality in their areas. Five cities were mandated to introduce a CAZ - Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton. The Government also named 23 local authorities where it expects pollution levels to reach illegal levels by 2021.

Many local authorities are conducting feasibility studies and are going through the consultation process. Some had plans to introduce CAZs in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that some of these plans have been delayed while others are under review - for example, Sheffield. In mid-October, a joint review by Leeds City Council and central government concluded that the planned CAZ for the city was no longer required.

In September 2020, a revised timetable for the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen was set by the Scottish government, which is now committed to their introduction between February and May 2022.

However, Bath and Birmingham are set to go live in early 2021, while London extended its existing Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in October 2021.

The rules for each CAZ will vary but commercial vehicles that exceed Euro 6 emissions standards will be subject to a charge to operate in a CAZ.

Further details about CAZs and their introduction are available from the UK Government website and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Road Freight and Logistics published a report on CAZs in November 2020..

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