COVID-19 – Road Transport Legislation Changes

Hauliers and the whole transport industry are vital to the nation’s battle against COVID-19. We are keeping the country moving, keeping shelves stocked and delivering vital supplies to our remarkable NHS workers fighting the virus on the frontlines. Therefore, it is no surprise that since the outbreak the government have announced a number of legislative changes to support the road transport industry during this time.


Driver CPC Relaxation

The Department for Transport has introduced temporary measures to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification. Professional lorry drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to maintain a driver qualification card (DQC) under current CPC rules.

During the current COVID-19 outbreak, it may be difficult for drivers to complete this required training. Therefore, these temporary changes mean that drivers with a DQC that expires from 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 can continue driving. It also means that military drivers (who have different training) will be allowed to drive in civilian situations during the same period. Drivers will not be subject to enforcement action by the DVSA in respect of the DCPC regulations and police forces have also been informed of this position.

To find out more about these temporary changes please visit the Government website.


Logistics Sector Confirmed as Essential

The Department for Transport issues a letter to confirm that all logistics staff and truckers that travel for work are considered as essential. Under the current restrictions this refers to all travel related to the operation of logistics businesses including vehicle repairs, vehicle parts and necessary washing.

You can download a copy of this letter from the RHA website and the RHA recommends that hauliers issue copies to staff to use if they are challenged.


3 Month Exemption on Lorry MOT’s

On 21st March the DVSA announced that MOT testing on trucks, trailers and buses would be suspended for 3 months.

Vehicles due for test during the period will automatically be issued with exemptions. However new vehicles and vehicles returning to service will be required to apply for an exemption certificate.

You can find out more about MOT exemptions on the Government website.


Drivers’ Hours Relaxed Temporarily

On 21st March the Department for Transport issued guidance to explain the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules. It specifically states that hours maybe relaxed regarding the delivery of essential items undertaking the following journeys:

  • Distribution centre to stores (or fulfilment centre)
  • From manufacturer or supplier to distribution centre (including backhaul collections)
  • From manufacturer or supplier to store (or fulfilment centre)
  • Between distribution centres and transport hub trunking
  • Transport hub deliveries to stores

For the drivers and work in question, the EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:

  1. Replacement of the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours;
  2. Reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours;
  3. Lifting the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limits (90 hours) to 60 and 96 hours respectively;
  4. Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period after six-24 hours periods, for after seven 24 hours period; although two regular weekly rest periods or a regular and a reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight;
  5. The requirements for daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving replaced with a break of 45 minutes after 5.5 hours of driving.

This temporary relaxation applies from Wednesday 18 March until Thursday 16 April and the department makes clear that driver safety must not be compromised and drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired. The department may also extend this relaxation if necessary.

Find out more here.


We recommend the RHA website for relevant and up-to-date news on the latest government changes that affect our operations in the industry.