COVID-19: Road Transport & Logistics – 3 April 2020 Update
Here is a summary of some developments in road transport and logistics since our last update.
Workplace/health and safety
HM Government policy remains that all supply chains must function and that all logistics businesses should continue as normal, subject to compliance with public health advice. Journeys of staff to and from work are regarded as ‘essential travel’ as confirmed in a letter from the DfT to the FTA/RHA on 30th March 2020.
For the many in this sector unable to work at home social distancing is of course required and the HSE has issued its advice on social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, but there remain issues for those where the 2-metre rule is unfeasible. More specific guidance from Public Health England is soon to be published.
Suspension of enforcement by DVSA for those drivers whose qualification lapse in the period 1 April 2020 to the end of September 2020 has finally been announced. Details can be found in our blog here. In addition, the DfT has been consulting on how to mitigate the problem of a major training backlog; there is a proposal to allow vocational drivers without Driver CPC to have a temporary qualification to 30 September after 14 (not 35) hours of training. The whole issue of ‘remote’ training remains to be fully addressed.
It still remains to be seen how the important issue of driver licence renewals/medicals is to be addressed for drivers reaching 45 years of age and thereafter. We will update on this as soon as this is announced.
Traffic Commissioner guidance
After the Senior Traffic Commissioner issued Contingency and Emergency Planning Guidance (covering periods of grace, operating centres, financial standing, transport managers, interim licences, temporary goods exemptions, bus registrations and community transport) an advice document was published. There have been subsequent updates, the last being on 1 April 2020 which can be found here.
The updates provide further useful information about bringing VOR vehicles back into service with examples, transport managers working at home and applying for temporary exemptions to operate when otherwise a licence would be required. More updates are planned.
If you require any advice with regard to operator licencing then please contact us. We envisage a number of problem areas: driver issues, financial difficulties and failures to renew licences on time when fleets are stood down as well as managing service inspection intervals.
Annual test for HGVs, trailers and PSVs
With effect from 21 March 2020, there will be an automatic three-month time extension, save in four categories: any vehicle needing its first test before 31 March 2020; any vehicle or trailer being put back in service where test certificate expired before March 2020; a PSV with an MOT expiring in March 2020 and vehicles needing a dangerous goods (ADR) test before 31 March 2020. For Guidance on applying for extensions click here. There is now in force a six-month extension for cars and vans.
Suspension of driving tests for all vehicles
Theory tests and practical driving tests stand suspended to ‘help prevent the spread of coronavirus’. This is up to and including 20 April 2020 for theory tests and for up to three months for driving tests. It applies to all types of theory tests, driving tests and approved driving instructor (ADI) standards checks. NB there is provision for emergency tests for critical workers if your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in a critical sector. These include health and social care; education and childcare; key public services; local and national government; food and other necessary goods; public safety and national security; transport; utilities, communication, and financial services.
Webinars and Training
We contemplate we will soon be providing information and updates via webinars. We would be pleased to hear from you about how we can help your business. What content of any kind could we provide that would benefit your management and other driving/non-driving staff?
We will continue to update you about developments as they arise.
Alternatively, if you or your business require advice or need assistance for any road transport matters, please get in touch with our specialist Road Transport team through this website or by calling 0330 404 0778.
This information is correct at 11.00am on 3 April 2020.
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