Update for Tuesday 31st July 2018
Uber puts the brakes on self driving trucks
UK truckers can breathe a collective sigh of relief after the ride-hailing business Uber has closed its self-driving trucks division to concentrate solely on its research with autonomous cars.
Although the division had already completed a delivery of Budweiser beer two years ago in 2016, it's now shutting down as the company focuses on self-driving people transport rather than goods transportation.
Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber's team developing self-driving technologies, said: "We believe having our entire team's energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward."
Although the research is into developing autonomous vehicles - vehicles that operate completely without human intervention - current trials outside of laboratory settings across the industry have been exclusively semi-autonomous.
Uber suspended its self-driving car tests in March this year after one of the vehicles struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona.
Uber has since conducted a safety review and last week confirmed it would be returning to streets in Pittsburgh, although those cars would, for now, run in "manual mode", meaning a driver would operate the vehicle at all times, and have two safety operators in each car.
The UK government still intends to trial small convoys of partially self-driving lorries that will be tried out on major British roads by the end of this year.
A contract has been awarded to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to carry out the tests of vehicle "platoons".
Update for Wednesday 25th July 2018
We are keeping an eye on the Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) ahead of a possible truckers
#brexitbottleneck after committee man Patrick MacSwinney appeared on Sky News last night as UK exporters fear impending bottlenecks at Channel ports for UK truckers.
Update for Monday 9th July 2018
Update for Monday 26th February 2018
With all the twists and turns we are hearing re Brexit in the news we will continue to update as often as we can when we find out some definite plans from the government that may affect truckers across the UK.
Update for Wednesday 14th February 2018
Update for Monday 12th February 2018
Update for Friday 12th January 2018
Got 7 days of courses in a row coming up! Weekday course Monday to Friday 22nd - 26th at The Industry Centre and Saturday at St Peters Gate in Sunderland then up to Northumberland on the Sunday (28th January!). Always nice though to see Colin and the farmers up at Bellingham. Always does us a good deal on a £100 hamper of organic meat. Stick it all in the freezer and lasts us nearly all year!
Update for Wednesday 13th December 2017
Update for Thursday 12th October 2017
RTITB have updated their Driver CPC course for 2017-18. We are therefore updating the modules from RTITB that we deliver to our drivers. The Monday will still be (possibly the most important) Drivers Hours A & The Professional Driver A. This particular course is designed to help drivers understand the complexities of Drivers' Hours, discussing rest periods, the Working Time Directive, record keeping and enforcement all as relevant now as it will be after we will leave the E.U. Then on the Tuesday we have Load Safety A & Emergency Actions A. On a Wednesday it's Safe and Economic Driving (Theory) A & On the Road A. Thursday it's Health & Safety A & Tachographs A. And on the Friday a course that suits both drivers and managers Haulage Operations (Compliance & Enforcement) A & Haulage Operations (Road Freight Compliance) A.
And news reaches us today of the Traffic Commissioner suspending the Operators licence of a West Midlands company recently that failed to download vehicle units and produce driver infringement reports. Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton suspended a fabric wholesaler's vehicle operations for four days. He said the company, based in Wednesbury, was slow to react after an audit picked up vehicle and driver compliance issues. One vehicle had operated without a valid MOT, safety inspections were not carried out on time and drivers were reporting defects verbally. The business also hadn't downloaded data from the vehicle units or produced infringement reports. This meant that numerous and repeated offences by one driver in particular were missed and not dealt with. The Traffic Commissioner said this case showed why it is essential for operators to download vehicle unit data.
Wednesday 11th October 2017
UK Industry 3rd Quarter results are out and we will drill down later on how things are looking for the Transport Industry. Each quarter industry watchdog and credit checking specialist Creditsafe produce a report on the state of each sector within the UK economy. Today we have received the latest report. For the Transportation industry here are some key aspects to come out of the most recent findings:
The industry employs an estimated 1,211,012 with the net worth of the sector put at £81,826,362,827 (that's £81.8 Billion). There have been 216 company failures this most recent quarter. Payments to transport companies are worsening with Transport and logistics companies being paid on average 11 days beyond terms. But payments to it's suppliers are stable with transport and logistics companies paying their suppliers on average only 9 days beyond terms. The transport and logistics industry was hit with a total of £2,678,806 of bad debt in the last 3 months. The average amount owed to transport and logistics companies from failed businesses was £9,237.
As for company growth the fastest growing companies were, Firstgroup PLC, Rolls-Royce Total Care Services Limited, RCL Cruises LTD, Abellio Scotrail LTD and Kuehne + Nagel Limited. On the other side of fate the biggest failures of the last quarter were, Searon Logistics Limited, T.T. Express (Oldham) Limited, Toll Prima (UK) Limited, Aldan Transport Limited and finally S Express ( Hendon Central) Limited.
August 23rd 2016
DVSA Out in force.
As they were last month (spotted at Wingate in County Durham on July 5th and 7th) VOSA (now known as DVSA) are expected
to be out in force again on the A19 this month.
Our drivers tell us HM Customs were also at Wolviston on Teesside with alsation dogs looking for illegal imigrants in the back of artics that had been pulled over during early July.
On that note DVSA have just released an interesting document... 'Enforcement booklet - Helping You Stay Safe On Great Britains Roads'. Makes an interesting read. Just click on the PDF icon to download.
August 17th 2016
Cat and Mouse On Wheels!
On the BBC's The One Show on 28th July 2016 Alex Jones and Gyles Brandreth were joined by actor Colin Morgan best known for playing the title character in the BBC fantasy series Merlin, and the lead in The Living and the Dead. After interviewing the Northern Irish actor host Gyles Brandreth led into the next feature by exclaiming "and now from the freaky to the fraudulent!" and the next item went on to feature what it portrayed as 'cat and mouse on wheels'. If you didn't see how DVSA try to track down unscrupulous operators using hi tech devices to overide tachographs you can watch the show (2 minutes in) by clicking here. Seems it's all a bit more sophisticated nowadays than using magnets to nobble tacho's.
The show also featured Peter Hearn Director of Operations at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. He told viewers how DVSA are constantly trying to keep one step ahead of the people who are trying to develop some of these devices. Viewers also got an insight in to how images how flashed back to DVSA control rooms using Automatic Number Plate Recognition software, they look for operators who have a track record poor vehicle maintenance, tax dodging or tachograph fraud. It was worrying for other road users to see a plug that makes all the trucks safety features useless. A driver who confessed while the report was being made was fined £580.00 and faced up to paying up to another £1500 for another tachograph. Last year alone 1400 other incidences were recorded where drivers using a similar device were detected. With a fifth of serious accidents on our main roads and motorways down to tiredness the tachograph is key to keeping commercial drivers and other road users safe.
June 27th 2016
Driver CPC After 'BREXIT'
After the population of the United Kingdom voted by 52% in favour of leaving the European Union we have looked at the implications to the haulage industry and in particular Driver CPC.
We have received this statement from R.T.I.T.B.Sunday 26th June 2016 10:12 am
Nothing Changes for Driver CPC Post Brexit
"We have already received calls asking what impact the “leave” vote will have on Driver CPC.
The answer (for the time being) is very simple; it will have absolutely no impact at all. Nothing has changed.
The decision made on 23rd June 2016, is for now, just a representation of public opinion. Article 50 (which starts the process of us leaving the EU) has not yet been invoked and current indications are that this will be delayed until a new Conservative Party leader has been put in place.
Once Article 50 is invoked there will be a period of at least 2 years where there will be no change, whilst we negotiate the terms of the exit and any future trade relationships.
This means that Driver CPC will not change in any way, shape or form until at least late 2018 (just 9 months from the deadline of the next 5 year cycle).
Backhouse Jones (specialists in legal matters for the transport law sector) have stated the following about Driver CPC following the UK’s vote to leave the EU
“Driver CPC obligations are also unlikely to change, this is because, although the regulations were created by the EU, the UK is a signatory of the, snappily titled, European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) which contains driver CPC obligations. The UK is expected to remain a signatory of AETR as a condition of ongoing trade with the EU. This will be in line with a number of other non EU countries.”
Therefore even after we formally leave the EU in 2-2 ½ years time Driver CPC seems highly unlikely to be “scrapped” given we still wish to trade with EU countries.
Our advice to all goods vehicle operators is very simple; it is business as usual as far as Driver CPC is concerned. We continue to strongly recommend you ensure each of your drivers completes 7 hours Periodic Training each year and you plan to meet the next compliance deadline of September 2019 exactly as you would have on 22nd June 2016."
We have also carried out our own research and found these key points:
A UK vote to leave the EU is unlikely to trigger an overhaul of UK transport legislation, according to transport lawyers.
Woodfines partner Tim Ridyard told Commercialmotor.com: “The Utopian notion that Brexit means all regulation disappears may not accord with reality.”
He added that if the UK joined the likes of Norway in the European Economic Area, post Brexit, it would still be bound by many EU laws.
Ridyard also questioned the wisdom of removing safety laws such as Driver CPC. “Would the UK want to abandon a regime that requires some form of ongoing training for drivers as part of the road safety objective?” he asked.
Aaron and Partners lawyer Tim Culpin echoed this view. “Even if we do come out, I doubt there would be any change to the law in terms of driver-related road safety in this country.”
DWF senior solicitor Joanne Witheford said the UK’s record on rigorously applying EU law made it unlikely it would attempt to unravel them, post-Brexit.
“The UK already takes EU legislation to a much higher degree in terms of implementation. I don’t believe that, if we left the EU, we would take a step back and throw out all that legislation,” she said.
Pragma Law road transport specialist Lucy Whitaker said there is room for improvement on certain laws but said any change could be difficult to see through. “There are several well-intentioned but ill-considered laws I’d change, such as Driver CPC and financial standing, but it’s not up to me, and who knows what the views of those in positions of influence or power are?”
She added: “It’s easy to complain about existing laws, but reaching an agreement about what they should be replaced with is more difficult.”
Transport solicitor Christabel Hallas warned a Brexit could see a loss of valuable regulations such as the requirement on member states to compile a national register of transport operators, which will include a history of infringements.
“This would make it more difficult for our enforcement authorities to monitor the safety of vehicles coming into our country from the EU.
This could mean a rise in the number of foreign-registered vehicles involved in accidents while in the UK,” she argued.
Source Commercial Motor.
Calais Mayor says France should reconsider treaty stopping migrants entering UK via Channel Tunnel
'Le Touquet' treaty means British border guards can check for immigrants illegally stowing away on the French side of the border
The Mayor of Calais has said she wants the French government to consider renegotiating the 'Le Touquet' treaty between the UK and France.
Speaking after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Mayor Natacha Bouchart said that France should consider changing the agreement, which allows British border guards to check for illegal immigrants stowing away on lorries, cars and trains before they head through the Channel Tunnel and onto ferries.
This could mean elements of training incorporated into the Driver CPC could now not only change, but become even more valuable to British drivers who may need the protection of knowing how to deal with what could become an even greater threat to drivers safety and livelihoods.
These photos were supplied to us by an English driver who attended our course last month who is based in the Netherlands and regularly travels between the UK and the continent. Luckily for the driver with the metal post embedded in his windscreen this vehicle is a left hand drive!
With a British exit from the EU might the French now simply "turn a blind eye" to migrants desparate to reach the UK pushing the problem on to our shores (and our brave lorry drivers)?
Future Changes to Driver CPC
So given the changes to way the UK trades with the E.U. and even the possibilty of a second Scottish referendum on Scotland leaving the U.K. it could well mean an increasing need for drivers to be updated with a raft of new changes. Having said that because of the massive task now of implementing 'BREXIT' officials may opt for simply just keeping as many of the laws as possible to allow them more time to make any changes. With the timescale of actual withdrawal coinciding with the next upturn in demand for CPC (prior to the next deadline in September 2019) there may be even more of a bottleneck of drivers requiring a refresh of what the rules actually are.
Therefore we predict that once the dust settles on the negotiations on the UK withdrawal from the E.U. there will be whole series of new modules containing the new working regulations that having reached agreement to exit, the UK will then have to adhere to if it is to continue to trade with the E.U.
A key point in our research is the EU will likely to want some form of relationship and market access. Both the In or Out Campaigns wanted a good relationship with the EU and continued trade. But not all EU members have as much to gain from ongoing trade with UK. So the negotiations will be tough and likely be protracted. The 2 year period may be extended....if so real BREXIT could be delayed for some years. Here are some key points that will have to be addressed in any "new CPC". Operator Licensing including EU1071/2009, Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, the Transport Act 1986, and the Transport Act 2000. If 1972 Act repealed then EU legislation (1071/2009) removed from direct effect within UK. However, the 3 UK Acts will remain UK had O Licensing before EU!
Some aspects of legislation may change, e.g. repute / financial standing requirements. But fundamental obligations and regulatory framework will remain in place. Operator licensing will remain. Driver Licensing EC2006/126 encompasses: Road Traffic Act (1988) Motor Vehicles (Driving Licenses) Regulations 1999 If the 1972 Act is repealed, EU directive would no longer apply. However, its principle obligations have already been incorporated into UK law. These are unlikely to be changed.
So getting back to Driver CPC UK regulations based on EU obligation, so leave EU and on the face of it no driver CPC. But, UK is a signatory of AETR, and would likely remain in that wider agreement as condition of ongoing trade. Driver CPC obligations come with that treaty. Notably, they would be needed for trade with Ireland (and potentially Scotland too).
Tachographs and Drivers’ Hours. Same as Driver CPC. Reg 561/2006 & 651/2014 on face of it will no longer apply But...AETR incorporates both, so no change likely in reality.
It all comes down to the negotiations! And, to trade with the EU, Britain will have to accept regulations that the EU require to create a level playing field.
To summarise Brexit will in reality consist of a fresh set of treaties between UK and EU. Treaty negotiations will be hard fought and very likely take a few years to resolve, little will change in the meantime.The UK will not want to ‘leave’ until free trade is agreed, if possible, because of huge negative economic impact of EU trade restrictions if UK unilaterally departs. Until they are agreed, it is difficult to see what they will mean from an economic view but much of the Transport regulatory structure is more than likely to remain and as such Driver CPC is more than likely here to stay.
Prior to the statement released by RTITB on Sunday 26th June (Nothing Changes for Driver CPC Post Brexit) ahead of the referendum back in February this year we thought we'd get an answer direct from the training board who we rely on to supply us with guidance on how we deliver the training.
Sent: 04 February 2016 12:40
Subject: EU Referendum Query?
Could you give us some guidance please on the upcoming EU Referendum?
With June not far off we are already starting to think a vote for the UK to leave Europe could undermine our business with Driver CPC.
Are we right in thinking that a UK exit would mean the end of the EU Directive on Driver CPC being delivered in the UK?
Then the reply from RTITB:
On 5 Feb 2016, at 15:22, Masterdrivercpc wrote:
"After much discussion regarding your questions, we have come to the conclusion that -
Driver CPC was written in to the UK law so the UK law would need to change, we don't anticipate this to change quickly, so the current cycle which ends in 2019 should not be affected."