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. 


COVID-19 tests for hauliers entering England from outside the UK

From 6 April 2021, hauliers entering England from outside the UK will need to take a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival. Free tests will be available at over 40 government advice sites and anyone failing to comply will face a £2,000 fine. 

Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) consultation

As part of its push to reduce carbon, the government has launched a consultation on proposals to amend the RTFO to increase the percentage of renewable fuels used in road transport. The consultation closes on 23 April, 2021.

Zero emission vehicles and road pricing

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee conducted a public consultation on zero emission vehicles and road pricing. It included consultation on a date for phasing out the sale of new diesel HGVs. The deadline for submitting evidence was Wednesday 17 February.

Longer semi-trailers

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, gave the go-ahead for the widespread use of longer semi-trailers (LSTs) on Britain’s roads in February 2021. This was after a trial of LSTs (which started in 2012 and was paused in December 2020) and an industry consultation that ran until 1st February 2021 to gather views on whether the trial should be ended.

Check before crossing the border

From 20 April 2021, HGV drivers moving between GB and the EU no longer need a Kent Access Permit (KAP) to enter Kent. The government introduced KAPs last December in the runup to the end of the Brexit transition period in order to prevent queues building up at the Channel ports.

However, drivers still need to:

Moving goods between GB and Northern Ireland

Following the end of the UK's EU transition period, the Northern Ireland Protocol came into effect, resulting in changes to the way goods are moved between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

See the latest information, including a government guide that highlights five key things you can do now. It also provides additional guidance and support.

In addition, the free-to-use Trader Support Service is available to help businesses of all kinds and sizes navigate the new rules. It:

  • Provides a free end-to-end support package to manage import and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders.
  • Educates 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.
  • Helps to complete relevant declaration forms for all businesses moving goods into Northern Ireland under new processes in the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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.

The guidance (which is also summarised in a four-page leaflet) tells drivers and operators what they need to do following the end of the UK's EU transition period.

Government sets up Brexit advice centres

In the run-up to the end of the UK's EU transition period, the Department for Transport 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 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 came into force in England, Scotland and Wales as of 1 February 2021, and also applies to re-treaded tyres.

New rules on drivers' hours

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 came into force on 1st March 2021 when an enforcement zone was 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 UK 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, central 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 expected 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 October 2020, a joint review by Leeds City Council and central government concluded that the planned CAZ for the city was no longer required. Both Nottingham and Leicester have also cancelled their plans to introduce CAZs.

In Derby, the City Council is to deploy traffic management measures rather than a CAZ as its way of dealing with air quality issues. In Southampton, central government approved the implementation of a Local NO2 Plan instead of the introduction of a charging CAZ. 

In Scotland, the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen is now scheduled for May 2022 and Glasgow's Phase 2 LEZ has been pushed back to sometime in 2023.

However, Bath went live with a charging CAZ on 15 March 2021, Birmingham will follow on 1 June 2021 and Bradford in January 2022. At the same time, London is to extend its existing Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from 25th 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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