Thank you for contacting me about road haulage and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
I know the present situation is causing real difficulties for the road haulage sector and I have been in touch with ministers regarding the industry. I also understand that the sector has a vital role to play in the national effort to combat the spread of the disease.
As such, a range of measures have been put in place to support road haulage. For example, drivers’ hours rules have been relaxed as an exceptional contingency measure, as outlined in Government guidance, to enable journeys to be undertaken which are necessary to protect people's health and lives.
In addition, qualification requirements for the Driver CPC have been amended so that drivers in Great Britain whose DQC expires in the period from 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 can continue driving.
I know that military drivers will be allowed to drive in civilian situations during the period outlined above too, and Ministers are looking at options for drivers with HGV or PCV entitlements but who have never held a CPC and who want to start driving professionally.
In terms of financial support, interventions such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business rates exemptions, the deferral of VAT payments and Government-backed loans and guarantees all apply to road hauliers. I would encourage any road hauliers experiencing difficulty to explore how they could take advantage of these measures. Further information on all the support available can be found at the link here.
I know that the Government and the RHA have been in regular contact about the issues COVID-19 is causing for road hauliers. I will also follow the industry’s situation closely going forward.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP