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  • 8 Jul 2021 13:01 | Anonymous

    The HTA does not agree with the government’s decision to relax drivers’ hours rules in direct response to the dire vocational driver shortage situation the industry is currently experiencing. It solely puts more pressure on drivers who are already working incredibly hard, long hours and is open to abuse by unscrupulous operators.

    Our Chairman Marcus Gough says, “its thoroughly disappointing to learn of this action by government, which neither addresses the shortage or takes in consideration for the safety of the driver and the public, especially given the short period of the relaxation, I urge government officials to engage with the association to find workable initiatives that will assist our members to work through the current challenges”.

  • 31 Mar 2021 09:30 | Anonymous

    The HTA have received the following communication from DVSA:-

    Transport Office Portal (TOP) update: repair affecting OCRS customer reports.

    OCRS customer reports are currently unavailable due to a technical issue with the Transport Office Portal.

    We are committed to keeping you informed.  Unfortunately, the repairs will take longer than expected due to technical requirements and the reports may not be available until the end of June.

    The delay will also allow us to improve the system so that any future developments are quicker to put in place.

    You can still access the following TOP services:

    • vehicle test history
    • encounter report
    • top up your Pre-Funded Account (PFA)
    • book an annual test at a Goods Vehicle Test Station (GVTS)

    Our enforcement work continues as our teams are able to use additional targeting information, such as encounter history.

    We are sorry for any inconvenience and will continue to keep you informed.

  • 16 Feb 2021 10:26 | Anonymous

    HTA Secretary and MD of Dynes Solicitors Ltd, John Dyne provides an update on the situation concerning roaming permits for UK abnormal load operators operating in France:-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3HPA3TocFM&feature=youtu.be
    (text transcript below)

    The situation as we now understand it is this.  Since 1st January 2021 abnormal load operators in France have been unable to take advantage of the roaming permit system.  This is a system that they had hitherto been using and had paid for; many of them having permits for up to 3 years and now suddenly finding that those permits are no longer valid.  We say this is discriminatory.

    We understand that the DfT has asked to reconsider that position.  We understand that there is some room for optimism according to the DfT we should know later on this week.  The HTA has announced that it will be asking all its members to lobby their local MPs to bring pressure to bear on the UK Government.  It is imperative that this situation sorted out as soon as possible.  It has also emerged that Article 3 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom makes it quite clear that for abnormal load operations; permits that need to be issued should be issued without discrimination.  Clearly what's been going on is discrimination and it has repercussions for UK abnormal load operators.  Given the contents of Article 3 which seem clear on their face value.  There is some hope for optimism this matter will be resolved.  Obviously as soon as we hear more we will let you know.

  • 13 Feb 2021 10:43 | Anonymous

    When the Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union (EU) was finally agreed and passed into law on the 30th December 2020, it seems there were a number of major oversights which are seriously impacting UK abnormal load operators that are operating in France.

    As of the 1st January 2021, the French Roaming Permit System was made unavailable for UK operators due to Brexit, but still remains available to EU and Swiss operators, despite Switzerland not being a part of the EU.

    In the video below, John Dyne, the Managing Director of Dyne Solicitors Ltd. and Secretariat to the Heavy Transport Association, explains the possible alternative approach that these operators may have to take, and how this approach could cause serious delays for their customers and even result in a loss of custom.

    UK Abnormal Load Operators no longer have access to the French Roaming Permit System

  • 6 Jan 2021 09:53 | Anonymous

    Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) periodic training is to be monitored by DVSA to ensure drivers are not unnecessarily repeating training as part of the 35-hour requirement.

    This follows a review of Driver CPC training and recommendations made by the European Commission which the Government has adopted.

    What this means for drivers

    DVSA will monitor drivers records to identify periodic training that doesn’t support their professional driver development because of unnecessary repetition.

    If DVSA identify unnecessary repetition we may take action which could include revoking a driver's Driver Qualification Card (DQC).

    What drivers need to do

    To make sure drivers continue to develop professionally and keep Great Britain’s roads safe they should take training which benefits them and their job.  This will ensure they increase their knowledge of what it takes to continue to drive safely instead of repeating the same training session.

    DVSA will only allow repetition of training when it supports a driver’s development.  For example, if more than one day’s training is required to maintain a qualification such as driving dangerous goods.

    Working with training bodies

    DVSA will be working with training bodies to ensure they are not delivering a specific training session to the same driver more than once unless it is necessary for their professional development.

  • 24 Dec 2020 12:13 | Anonymous

    Marcus Gough, said: “I am delighted, and it is a huge honour to be elected for this term and to try and provide stability in these uncertain times.

    "Both I and the committee encourage everyone to get involved, engage with the new look website, share, and feedback your ideas, and the vast array of heavy, abnormal loads moved and escorted.”

    “As Chair, I want to continue to drive the excellent work the HTA has already done in this area.  With many key projects in progress at present, engaging with stakeholders up to government departments, with a focus on improving safety and standards within our industry, more of which can be explored on this site – check out our news page” 

    First appointed on 15th December, replacing David Purslow this will be Gough’s first term, having over 35 years’ experience, in haulage and heavy cranes operations, covering all roles from driver to operator.  Marcus also currently serves on the RHA Abnormal Loads Specialist Group committee and is well placed to represent the views of the Association.  His day job is Head of Transport for Ainscough Crane Hire Ltd.

  • 16 Nov 2020 20:30 | Anonymous

    The Heavy Transport Association has initiated the first in a new programme of projects that will look at various aspects of the movement of abnormal indivisible loads, analysing good practice from the UK and elsewhere in the world to ensure that movement of these loads is performed as safely and efficiently as possible.

    The first project in the programme is SAbLESafer Abnormal Load Escorting, the aim of which is “To improve the safety and operational efficiency of Abnormal Load movements through appropriate escorting practices.”

    The SABLE project aims to bring together a full range of stakeholders including: abnormal load hauliers, route surveyors, permit agents, consultants, abnormal load escorts, infrastructure owners /managers, equipment manufacturers and the police.

    The project, led by international road safety consultancy The Transafe Network*, will examine current practices in the risk assessment and escorting of abnormal loads, and identify future practices which have the potential to enhance the safety and efficiency of these movements.  This will include practices to improve safety for all road users, and the most efficient use of the road network.

    For more information on SABLE, to receive updates on the project, or to express an interest in being part of the SABLE Working Party, please email: HTAprojects@transafenetwork.com.

    Notes for Editors: *The Transafe Network is a specialist road safety consultancy with experience of working in more than 40 countries on six continents. They supply a wide range of road risk management services to organisations as diverse as blue-chip corporations with fleet operations, research foundations, the legal profession, police forces and local authorities.

    For more information please visit: https://www.transafenetwork.com/

  • 27 Jan 2020 09:09 | Anonymous

    The Heavy Transport Association (HTA), the only specialist trade association for the heavy and abnormal load industry, officially launch two City & Guilds Assured Abnormal Load Escort Training Programmes.

    Developed and improved from their previous Escort Training courses, the Abnormal Load Escort Driver Stage 2 and the Abnormal Load Escort Manager Stage 3 Programmes, champion safety standards for the benefit of the industry and HTA members.

    Available across selected HTA Approved regional training centres, both training Programmes are tailored to Escort and Pilot Car drivers across the heavy transport and mobile crane sector to prove competency, reduce risk, improve public safety and promote industry excellence.

    These Programmes are designed to test and satisfy the requirements of Operational staff, to be competent and safe in their role.  This is achieved via theory based classroom learning, followed by observation of practical activities leading to a final assessment resulting in a City & Guilds credential issued upon successful completion.

    Split across two Programmes, candidates are expected to undertake the Stage 2 Driver Programme before progressing to the higher Stage 3 Managers Programme.

    Those undertaking the Stage 2 Driver Training Programme on completion will:-

    • Learn Escort Driver legislative vehicle requirements whilst obtaining knowledge of the current Code of Practice and industry best practices.
    • Be able to prepare escort vehicle(s) before use and brief all task personnel before departure.
    • Check the condition of transport vehicle(s) and load(s) before departure, whilst understanding the appropriate load and vehicle positioning whilst on the road.
    • Understand how to effectively communicate with third parties and how to appropriately respond to emergencies, incidents and unexpected situations.
    • Possess the knowledge of post-operative procedure checks and movement report completion.

    On successful completion of the HTA Abnormal Loads Escort Driver Stage 2 Programme, individuals may progress to the higher Stage 3 module. Following the same learning format, the HTA Abnormal Load Escort Manager Training Programme will not only encompass topics covered in Stage 2, but will provide individuals with a deeper understanding of these disciplines.

    In addition to this understanding, individuals progressing onto the Stage 3 Managers Programme will:-

    • Possess the ability to plan the details of the movement, understanding the relevance of all related movement documentation and understand the roles and responsibilities of all involved.
    • Acquire the knowledge to brief all personnel involved in the movement, and ensure all vehicles have been appropriately prepared and checked.
    • Understand how to actively manage vehicles and traffic during the load movement.
    • Manage the closure of the abnormal load movement on completion.
    • Understand the requirements of multiple escorts or convoys of loads

    With the implementation of these two improved Training Programmes throughout the regional network of HTA Approved Training Centres, the Heavy Transport Association aims to greatly increase safety standards across the industry, reducing risks and improving the competency of Operators and Drivers alike.  The addition of the Assured recognition guarantees these Training Programmes are benchmarked against the City & Guilds quality standards, providing the confidence and reassurance of highly accredited professional development.

  • 27 Feb 2019 12:49 | Anonymous

    The HTA received an email on the 27 February 2019 which gave notification of a blanket movement embargo imposed by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on all abnormal loads during peak periods.  The embargo is for all categories of abnormal loads yet mobile cranes up to and including 5 axle which could weigh 60 ton gross ‘dry’ weight and with ballast likely to weigh 80 tons are excluded.  STGO CAT1s are embargoed even though they weigh significantly less than mobile cranes.

    Also, on a motorway the lane limit is 3m so a CAT 1 is not taking up any additional space.  The HTA sent a letter to GMP on the 2 May explaining that CAT 1 AILs are being stopped for no apparent reason and asked for a revision of the blanket ban.  We received acknowledgement of the letter by way of return on the 14 May and now await a full response.

  • 1 Dec 2018 10:33 | Anonymous

    A response to our letter of the 22 September was received on the 21 December 2018.  As cautioned by the HTA, the DfT recognised that the appointing of a Transport Specialist to assess ad hoc and unpredictable moves was not required. However, the letter then went on to say that the current practice of applying the Reasonableness Test to both inland waterways and coastal shipping would continue.

    In response the HTA sent a further letter to the DfT on the 25 February 2019. We pointed out that it is not current practice to apply the ‘Reasonableness Test’ to both inland waterways and coastal shipping and this application is in fact a change of policy to include coastal shipping.

    The HTA explained that there is a long standing policy for ad hoc and unpredictable AIL moves using costal shipping to use the nearest convenient established port.  Cases can and are made as to the nearest convenient port which take many factors into account.  To name but a few; it could be that, a particular port offers a scheduled deep sea service or, there may be existing heavy lift crane or, mileage to the destination could be greater yet the route provides less impact on the SRN.  The HTA cautioned against such a change in policy as significant disruption to the industry is a likely result.

    We await a response from the DfT.

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