Business group Logistics UK has recognised the need for 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, explained, 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.”
He said that 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”.