Last reviewed 1 July 2022

Having considered the views and evidence provided during consultation, including responses by representatives of the goods road transport sector, the Government has decided not to continue with the permission of additional cabotage rights.

This comes after our report that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) was unhappy with the plans (see Cabotage changes could sabotage UK hauliers) and this latest announcement from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recognises their concerns.

DfT analysis suggested the take-up of the additional cabotage rights had been low. However, the feedback from the consultation responses illustrated that, while the use of additional cabotage rights was low overall, the rights were helpful in some sectors in the run-up to Christmas 2021.

As the RHA had warned, some UK haulage operators reported that the impact of the additional cabotage rights on their businesses was greater than DfT’s overall assessment suggested.

The wider report, “Road Transport Cabotage: Further Flexibilities During 2022 for Foreign Hauliers: Consultation Response”, states that:

“The Government will continue to keep supply chain pressures under review and if, later in the year, these pressures increase, Ministers will consider whether a short-term reintroduction of additional cabotage rights measure could help ease such pressures.”

It also explains that the additional cabotage rights were put in place to allow non-UK hauliers to carry out unlimited cabotage within a 14-day period and that they were introduced as a temporary measure at a time of acute supply chain pressure while other measures to boost domestic capacity took effect.