The Traffic Commissioners’ Annual Report 2019

29 November 2019

Each year in October the Traffic Commissioners (TCs) produce a report to the Secretary of State for Transport in which they summarise their performance to date and set out their strategic plans for the near future. The report also contains detailed statistics on the operator licensing system and items of concern to the TCs. In this article Richard Smith looks at the state of the industry shown by the data and the issues of concern to TCs with respect to road haulage.

A "no-deal" Brexit — is your business prepared?

1 November 2019

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 January 2020. Although the Government has made a draft agreement with the EU, it is still possible that there will be a no-deal Brexit. Furthermore, if there is no deal it is possible that the UK and EU could enter into agreements for specific areas. Consequently, this is a fluid situation and significant changes may be introduced at any time.

Grandfather rights

30 September 2019

Richard J Smith, transport consultant, takes a look at the three areas in the freight transport industry where acquired rights (previously known as grandfather rights) currently apply.

Interpreting Accident Statistics

19 August 2019

On 24 July 2019, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) issued a necessary rebuttal to inaccurate media reports that the decade-low (45.8%) initial driving test pass rate is due to the newly-introduced and “dangerous” pull up on the right manoeuvre. In doing so DVSA highlighted the very strong correlation between driving test faults and the factors that cause accidents, as cited for every type of vehicle in the official Road Accident and Safety Statistics (RAS).

Driver conduct

16 July 2019

For goods and public service vehicle drivers, there can surely be no more valuable qualification than the vocational driving entitlements which enable them to drive the classes of vehicle for which they are employed. It is obvious why a lorry driver — who does not hold a licence to drive a lorry — is not an awful lot of use to an employer. The protection of that entitlement is vital to any driver — it is no exaggeration to say that their livelihood depends on it.

The uncertain world of “employment status”

27 June 2019

In their latest version of their statutory guidance, the Traffic Commissioners added a new section on driver employment status (document 5 — Legal entities) which highlights their concern over the issue of employment and self-employment in the transport industry. This article by tax expert Mark Cawthron provides an update ahead of the introduction of the new off-payroll rules for workers in the private sector with effect from 6 April 2020. In doing so, he looks at the related question of employment status, where legislative change is also anticipated. This will be of interest to PSV operators who regularly use the services of such individuals in the course of their business, such as those employed by personal service companies, and any HGV operators who have to deal with the issue of employment status in their business. At the foot of this article is a summary of a case where the Tribunal considered a pool of drivers to be engaged to work essentially as “day labourers”.