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Legislation update – September 2021


Keep abreast of current consultations, recently closed consultations and key announcements.

Current consultations

DfT – Traffic Commissioner function 

Review of the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain. The review seeks views on whether the functions carried out by traffic commissioners (TCs) are required, how effectively and efficiently TCs carry out their role and duties. Whether the existing staffing and administration arrangements of Office of the Traffic Commissioner are effective or whether alternative arrangements are required and if additional functions and responsibilities should be added to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. Released 11/08/2021 closes 08/09/2021.  

DVSA – Changes to HGV and bus driving tests and allowing car drivers to tow a trailer without an extra test 

Seeking views on changes to HGV and minibus, bus and coach driving tests, and allowing car drivers to tow trailers without taking another test. Released 10/08/2021 closes 07/09/2021. 

CO – Government engagement with business and civil society groups on the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  

Government is seeking views on how the domestic advisory group should operate and on the criteria for the selection of UK stakeholders for participation in the UK-EU civil society forum. Both groups will play an advisory role in relation to the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). Released 09/08/2021 closes 14/09/2021. 

DVSA – Changing the cost of DVSA services for 2021 to 2022 

This consultation proposes increasing the fees paid by around 1.5% for services provided by DVSA, including: theory tests, driving tests and vehicle tests. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is proposing to do this to avoid a future shortfall in its funds and to allow it to fund future work to modernise its services. Released 05/08/2021 closes 02/09/2021. 

TfL – Increasing the fine level for drivers who fail to follow the rules on TfL managed roads 

TfL are proposing to increase the fine level (TfL penalty charge) from £130 to £160 for people who fail to follow the rules of the red route network (those roads manage by TfL in London). The fine level would be reduced by half to £80 if paid within 14 days. Released 05/08/2021 closes 19/09/2021.  

Transport Scotland – Consultation on Penalty Charge Notices for Parking Enforcement 

The Scottish Government is consulting on creating and aligning an equivalent list to the England and Wales parking contravention codes. Each contravention classified as higher or lower. Currently, illegal parking/loading incurs a £60 penalty charge discounted to £30 if paid within 14 days, but Transport Scotland does not believe this is a sufficient level to deter poor parking. The higher charge is proposed to be set at £120 and will apply to contraventions including double parking, parking on a dropped kerb and pavement parking. Released 04/08/2021 closes 04/10/2021.  

DfT – Key Route Networks: devolving more powers and responsibilities for locally important roads to metro mayors and their combined authorities 

Seeks views on proposals to give metro mayors and their combined authorities greater decision-making powers and accountability for Key Route Networks (KRNs). Released 30/07/2021 closes 24/09/2021. 

TfL – Congestion Charge changes 

Last year, in response to the transport challenges of the pandemic and the government’s emergency funding of Transport for London (TfL), temporary changes were made to the Congestion Charge. This included extending its charging hours until 22:00 each day and increasing the charge level to £15. TfL is now consulting on new proposals. The proposals include reducing the charging hours to between 07:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday and 12:00 to 18:00 at weekends. Released 28/07/2021 closes 06/10/2021. 

BEIS – UK Emissions Trading Scheme: proposed amendments 

This consultation sets out the UK government and devolved administration proposed technical amendments to the UK ETS legislation, which is accompanied by two draft Statutory Instruments. This consultation is of particular interest to individual companies, aviation sectors with obligations under the UK ETS. Released 28/07/2021 closes 07/09/2021. 

Scottish Affairs Select Committee – Airports in Scotland 

The Committee calls for evidence to be submitted on the following issues: What has been the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and reduced flights on Scottish airports and local communities, including tourism? How do airports support the local and regional job market? How effective is the movement of air freight for essential supplies in rural or isolated airports? Is there a sufficient level of investment in the infrastructure around airports in Scotland? How will airspace modernisation affect Scottish airports? What schemes are in place to reduce the carbon footprint of airports? Released 27/07/2021 closes 06/10/2021. 

DfT – Mandating the use of sustainable aviation fuels in the UK 

Proposes the introduction of an obligation on fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of jet fuel used in the UK, to be achieved through greater use of sustainable aviation fuels. Released 23/07/2021 closes 19/09/2021.  

House of Commons, Environmental Audit Committee – Net zero aviation and shipping 

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has announced that it is to look at how the aviation and shipping sectors can best achieve net zero emissions. Released 20/07/2021  closes 03/09/2021. 

BEIS - Role of vehicle-to-X energy technologies in a net zero energy system: call for evidence 

Views invited on the role of V2X technologies in the energy system, the barriers that might be preventing this and the role of government. Released 20/07/2021 - closes 12/10/2021. 

DfE – National Skills Fund 

This consultation invites views on areas such as, how government can ensure the free level 3 qualifications and Skills Bootcamps are even more accessible to a wide range of people. How to ensure the free level 3 qualifications and Skills Bootcamps meet the needs of a range of employers. And where the skills system could do more to meet priority skills needs below degree level. Released 15/07/2021 closes 16/09/2021. 

DfT – CO2 emissions regulatory framework for all newly sold road vehicles in the UK 

We are seeking views on the proposed regulatory framework for the UK with regard to all newly sold road vehicles. It includes defining the ‘significant zero emission capability’ that all new hybrid cars and vans will be required to deliver from 2030 to 2035. Released 14/07/2021 closes 22/09/2021. 

DfT – Heavy goods vehicles: ending the sale of new non-zero emission models 

The Department is seeking views on when to end the sale of new non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the UK and whether to increase the maximum permissible weights for zero emission and alternatively fuelled HGVs completing domestic journeys. The end of sale dates for new non-zero emission HGVs will be enforced through the green paper on a new road vehicle CO2 emissions regulatory framework for the United Kingdom. Released 14/07/2021 closes 03/09/2021. 

DfT – Jet Zero - Achieving Net Zero by 2050 

Sets out the government’s proposed approach and principles to reach net zero aviation by 2050. The consultation will inform the final jet zero strategy. Released 14/07/2021 closes 08/09/2021. 

Highways England – Lower Thames Crossing - community impacts consultation  

This Community Impacts Consultation will provide an opportunity to review and comment on plans to build and operate the Lower Thames Crossing. Topics include changes to traffic, air quality, noise, and vibration, as well as the impact of the new crossing on the environment and landscape. Released 14/07/2021 closes 08/09/2021. 

Welsh Gov. – Proposal to reduce the speed limit to 20mph on residential streets 

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on its proposals to limit the speed limit in villages, towns, and cities to 20mph. This follows announcements made by the First Minister for Wales in 2019, and the launch of a Taskforce Group, under Lee Waters, in 2020. Released 09/07/2021 closes 01/10/2021. 

BEIS – Strengthening the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) 

This consultation seeks views on proposed measures to strengthen the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme to improve the uptake of energy efficiency measures and increase the benefits for participating businesses. Released 06/07/2021 closes 28/09/2021. 

Scottish Government – Workplace parking licensing regulations and guidance  

This consultation on Workplace Parking Licensing (WPL) Scheme regulations and guidance seeks views on the regulatory framework and supporting guidance which will underpin local authorities’ WPL schemes. Released 11/06/2021 closes 06/09/2021. 

DfT – Night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports between 2022 and 2024 plus future night flight policy  

Consultation seeking views and evidence on revising the night flight dispensation guidance, allowing airport operators and the Secretary of State for Transport to disregard movements from the existing restrictions in certain circumstances. It seeks evidence on the night flight restrictions at the designated airports beyond 2024 including: structure of the government’s night noise quota count system, length of the future regime, and future movement and noise quota allowances. The consultation also seeks views on our national night flight policy, including on the health impacts of aviation noise at night and the economic value of night flights plus the emergence of new technology. Released 04/03/2021 – extended to 03/09/2021.    

Recently closed consultations

Transport for the North – Decarbonisation Strategy 

Transport for the North wanted feedback on their draft Decarbonisation Strategy and proposed future decarbonisation activities. Released 07/06/2021 closed 31/08/2021. 

DIT (Department for International Trade) – Trade with India: Call for Input 

Government sought input on which aspects of their current trading arrangements with India should they look to improve or amend. Released 25/05/2021 closed 31/08/2021.  

Ofgem – Access and Forward-looking Charges Significant Code Review - Consultation on Minded to Positions 

Seeking views on Ofgem's ‘minded-to’ proposals relating to fast-tracked areas of the Access and Forward-looking Charging Significant Code Review, including their proposals for: distribution connection charging, definition and choice of access rights, and transmission charging for small, distributed generation. Released 30/06/2021 closed 25/08/2021.  

DfT – Changes to the UK operator licensing regime and arrangements for the temporary posting of workers in the UK and EU: request for evidence 

Consultation asking for evidence and views on changes to the operator licensing regime within the UK that need to be made following the conclusion of the EU trade agreements. The changes to the operator licensing regime include an extension to cover vehicles that weigh more than 2.5 tonnes used for hire and reward on international journeys. Along with a posting of workers proposal designed to ensure that an employee carrying out a service in an EU member state on a temporary basis has rights. Released 29/06/2021 closed 24/08/2021. 

HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) – Draft legislation: Plastic Packaging Tax 

Comes into force in April 2022 this consultation is looking at adding a new tax that will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. Plastic packaging is packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight. Released 20/07/2021 closed 17/08/2021. 

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) – The proposed changes to The Personal Protective Equipment at Work 1992 Regulations (PPER) 

HSE is consulting on changes to the PPER 1992. The consultation can be accessed via HSE Consultation Hub from 19/07/2021 and runs for weeks. The aim of the consultation is to understand the impact on stakeholders and businesses of extending the scope of the employers’ duties under the PPER to workers and not only employees. Released 19/07/2021 closed 15/08/2021. 

Announcements, August 2021 

Home Office – 26/08/2021 – UK points-based immigration system: sponsorship roadmap 

This publication explains the further improvements government will make to the sponsorship system this year, in 2022 and beyond. 

DfT – 26/08/2021 – Transport Goods in and out of the UK using vans or car and trailer from 21 May 2021 

First Published – Guidance on what transport companies and couriers need to do to use vans and car and trailers over 2.5 tonnes to transport goods in and out of the UK from 21 May 2022. 

DfT – 26/08/2021 – Register road haulage journeys within Europe from 2 February 2022 

First Published  Check which types of journeys you will need to register online if you transport goods within Europe using a car and trailer, van, or HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) from 2 February 2022. 

National Highways – 25/08/2021 – National Highways online tool launched for views on future road investment 

National Highways (formally Highways England) has launched an online feedback tool for road users and those who live near to England’s motorways and major A roads to give their views on where investment is needed the most. 

DfT – 24/08/2021 – Ending the longer semi-trailer trials – consultation response  

the Department for Transport (DfT) released its response to the Longer Semi-Trailer (LST) trial consultation which ended in February 2021. The response outlines a sightly lighter attitude when compared to DfT’s earlier preferred approach in ending the trial – especially in respect of administrative procedures with Traffic Commissioners and incident notifications. Subject to the completion of the necessary Parliamentary processes, the ability to operate LSTs (Longer Semi Trailer) outside the trial is envisaged to start in January or April 2022. 

DfT – 24/08/2021 – Heavier intermodal freight trial: government response 

Having considered the responses to this consultation which closed in November 2020 and following discussion with the Welsh and Scottish governments, DfT will continue to work towards implementing a trial of 48-tonne vehicles for intermodal journeys within Great Britain. 

National Highways – 19/08/2021 – Nick Harris appointed Chief Executive at new-look ‘National Highways’ 

Nick Harris has been confirmed as the new Chief Executive of the rebranded National Highways formally known as Highways England. 

HMRC – 18/08/2021 – Rules of origin for goods moving between the UK and EU 

Updated  New guidance and case studies on insufficient production for manufacturing and agri-food processes. 

OTC – 17/08/2021 – Traffic Commissioners: the principles of decision making and the concept of proportionality 

Updated  Statutory Document 10  This guidance explains how the Senior Traffic Commissioner believes that traffic commissioners should interpret the law in relation to the principles of decision making and the concept of proportionality. 

BEIS – 17/08/2021 – UK Hydrogen Strategy Published 

The UK Hydrogen Strategy sets out how government will drive progress in the 2020s, to deliver the 5GW production ambition by 2030 and position hydrogen to help meet government’s Sixth Carbon Budget and net zero commitments. 

DfT – 16/08/2021 – DVSA to recruit an extra 40 additional vocational driving examiners to help reduce lorry driver shortage 

A campaign to recruit additional vocational driving examiners in England and Wales to help reduce the lorry driver shortage has been launched by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). 40 new vocational examiners will be recruited in total, made up of existing DVSA employees and external candidates. 

OTC – 10/08/2021 – Traffic Commissioners: annual report 2020 to 2021 

Annual report about major aspects of the Traffic Commissioners' judicial, regulatory, and administrative roles between 2020 and 2021. 

DfT – 09/08/2021 – Operation Brock: removing sunset clauses and provisions for EU Exit and COVID-19 pandemic from existing traffic management legislation 

From 26 May to 20 June 2021, DfT sought the views of stakeholders and members of the public on the proposed updating and amendments of the statutory instruments (SIs) that underpin Operation Brock. Based on the response, DfT has decided to continue amending existing legislation via the 3 SIs to ensure HGV congestion in Kent is managed after 31 October 2021. 

OTC – 09/08/2021 – Traffic Commissioners strategic objectives for 2021 to 2023 

Traffic Commissioners have set out their key objectives for 2021 to 2023. 

DfT – 06/08/2021 – Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules: all road haulage sectors in Great Britain (until 3 October 2021) 

The Department for Transport (DfT) has extended the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland, and Wales. It says this is following calls from industry and continued pressures on local and national supply chains. The temporary relaxation runs from 12.01pm on 9 August 2021 until 11.59pm on 3 October. 

DfT – 04/08/2021 – Response to better delivery: a challenge for freight 

This document sets out the government’s response to the National Infrastructure Commission's (NIC) recommendations and updates on the progress that has been made to a wider Future of Freight programme which will build upon the NIC’s work in ‘Better Delivery’ to produce a long-term strategic plan for the freight sector. 

DfT – 03/08/2021 – Department for Transport eCargo Bike Grant Fund Application 

The Department for Transport and the Energy Savings Trust has made £400,000 funding available to support businesses purchasing eCargo bikes. The funding will cover up to 40% of the total cost of an eCargo bike up to £2,500 for two-wheel models and £4,500 for three-wheel models. Applications are capped at five bikes per organisation, although larger applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grant funding must be claimed by 14 February 2022. The eCargo bikes do not need to have been delivered for funding to be claimed. 

Published On: 02/09/2021 16:00:58

 

Ian Gallagher, Head of Compliance Information


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