On the 4th of September 2018 the HTA received a letter from Duncan Price, Head of Freight, Operator Licencing and Roadworthiness for the Department for Transport (DfT). The letter’s stated purpose was to inform the industry that the DfT has been considering how the policy works in practice. There are two areas for consideration. Firstly, whether the indicative thresholds for financial reasonableness for inland water, when applied to ad hoc unpredictable moves, should be applied to costal as well as inland waters. This essentially would mean all hauliers would be compelled to use a costal port that is considered by an authority to meet the financial reasonableness bar. Secondly, whether the appointment of a ‘Transport Specialist’ would be beneficial to the decision making process for such moves. The appointment of the Transport Specialist would entail an hourly rate and could range from £500 for simple cases and up to £10,000.
The HTA responded to this letter on the 22 September and questioned how such a policy could be implemented without an industry impact assessment, why Highway England are effectively out-sourcing their decision making procedure, why is a Transport Specialist required for ‘simple cases’ and what are the specialist’s terms of reference?
We await the response from the DfT by return.