RHA welcomes longer trailer deadline reprieve

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Friday 10 November 2023

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has announced that the deadline by which fleet operators that have been participating in the longer semi-trailer (LST) trial must switch to the new, post-trial regulatory regime has been extended by three months.

The concession by government, which was re­ported by the RHA last week, means that the trial end date will now be 29 February 2024, the association has said, having previously been set for 30 November this year.

The RHA has been working with the Department for Transport to formulate fresh guidance on LSTs fol­lowing earlier calls to reduce bureaucracy around the new regime.

The association had argued that since encourag­ing uptake of LSTs has environmental benefits due to reduced journey numbers and congestion, “it makes no sense to discourage their use”. It also cited the “years of rigorous trials” which had demonstrated LSTs were safe for road use.

The government published LST guidance in May which established general conditions for their use beyond the auspices of the 12-year-long trial. These included fresh administrative requirements such as route planning and risk assessments.

The RHA had highlighted concerns from some of its members about the added pressure on drivers and transport planners, and the significant time re­quired to complete paperwork.

Now, the association says, “There are options being considered by some operators including tracking providers and driver apps to link a pickup location with a route plan and risk assessment to facilitate a simpler solution, but this will not be ready in time for 30 November.”

Declan Pang, RHA director of policy and public af­fairs for England, said: “We welcome this extra time to work with our members and government on solu­tions, and for changes to the guidance to reduce on­erous administration.”