The government has announced plans to introduce a temporary extension to road haulage cabotage rules to alleviate pressures with the supply chain due to lorry driver shortages and other global supply issues. The term cabotage in this context refers to specific restrictions on foreign lorry drivers on the amount of work they can do within the UK over a set period.
Under the current rights, the UK allows EU heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers to undertake 2 cabotage journeys within 7 days of entry into the UK. The government is proposing allowing unlimited cabotage movements of HGV’s for up to 14 days after arriving on a laden international journey into the UK before returning home. The proposal is that this extension will apply for 3 or 6 months, subject to ongoing review. The proposals are also looking at extending these changes to hauliers from Norway and Switzerland (who do not currently enjoy these rights), as well as to non-EU countries more widely.
The measures are subject to a short consultation but are not expected to come into effect until towards the end of the year as further work will be required to legislate for this change.
Announcing the move, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
‘The temporary changes we’re consulting on to cabotage rules will also make sure foreign hauliers in the UK can use their time effectively and get more goods moving in the supply chain at a time of high demand.’