As part of the government’s effort to keep supply chains moving throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Transport has authorised an extension to the existing relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules.

The extension means that the temporary relaxation previously due to end on 21 April, will continue until the end of 31 May 2020. This extension does not apply to the previous relaxation on break requirements.

Driver safety remains a priority for the government and drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired.

Employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.

Please ensure you refer to the link below, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up-to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.

https://www.gov.uk/search/guidance-and-regulation?parent=%2Ftransport%2Fprofessional-driving-of-lorries-buses-and-coaches&topic=b4e41212-77b8-44ba-8fb5-6aa479b20d36&order=updated-newest

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Motorway and major trunk road services remain open 24 hours a day following advice from the government deeming them as ‘essential services’.

The welfare of commercial drivers is a priority. While some service stations have reduced their opening hours, fuel, toilets, food and drink remain available at all service stations 24 hours a day.

Drivers are able to plan their rest stop breaks using the below Highways England link. This information is updated every day.

http://www.trafficengland.com/motorway-service-areas

Please ensure you refer to the link below, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up-to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.

https://www.gov.uk/search/guidance-and-regulation?parent=%2Ftransport%2Fprofessional-driving-of-lorries-buses-and-coaches&topic=b4e41212-77b8-44ba-8fb5-6aa479b20d36&order=updated-newest

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

We recommend if you have mothballed vehicles due to the current situation, you continue to carry out some routine checks where possible.

We’re anticipating a high volume of calls once operations resume again, therefore we will be increasing resource in the defect reporting call centre.

We’re liaising with our service partners to ensure they are also planning for the peak and can support accordingly.

Please carry out the advised regular checks below, as this will assist us with a smoother return to operation following the lockdown being lifted:

  • Start and run the vehicles frequently to keep the battery charged and engine components free from defects.
  • Move the vehicle around if possible and operate the brakes to keep them free from seizing.
  • Check and operate items as you would during a normal daily check, tyres, lights, wipers, fans, cranes and tail lifts. Please see below the DVSA guidance:

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Further advice has been given on the relaxation of drivers’ hours rules in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. This should be considered in conjunction with the extensive existing guidance provided on drivers’ hours.

The drivers’ hours and working time rules are in place to protect road safety and the working conditions of drivers, and to reduce the risk of drivers being involved in fatigue-related accidents. As such, any relaxation of these rules should only be considered where genuinely necessary and when other supply chain management interventions are unable to alleviate issues.

A relaxation has been authorised for drivers under the EU drivers’ hours rules or the GB drivers’ hours rules, and undertaking carriage of goods by road in all sectors, between 23 March – 21 April. Continuation of the relaxation will be subject to review in England, Scotland and Wales.

The GB drivers’ hours rules that can be temporarily relaxed are as follows:

  • Replacement of the GB duty time limit of 11 hours with 12 hours
  • Replacement of the GB daily driving time limit of 10 hours with 11 hours

Drivers can only take advantage of this temporary relaxation 5 days in any 7 day period, and must take a rest period of 24 hours within the same 7 day period.

This relaxation of drivers’ hours is an exceptional contingency measure. It must be used only where necessary, otherwise normal drivers’ hours should be followed.

Please see below for further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-drivers-hours-relaxations/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-drivers-hours-relaxations

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

You should never operate a vehicle in an unsafe condition. You should adopt a risk-based approach appropriate for your business.

Maintenance intervals can exceptionally and in limited situations, be extended in line with the principles set out below. These principles only apply to standard licence holders (in any sector) or to restricted licence holders carrying out essential transport services.

These sectors include those involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning), door to door refuse collection and disposal services, health services and over the counter pharmaceuticals, fuel or essential utility services (water, gas, electricity, telecommunications, road maintenance, etc) where their normal maintenance arrangements are affected by Covid-19.

If you are the holder of a restricted licence and do not operate in the sectors mentioned above, you should continue to abide by the intervals that you stated on your application to the traffic commissioner.

Where the concession is used, robust daily driver checks and effective use of vehicle monitoring systems are even more important.

The principles are as follows:

  • PMI intervals can be extended by up to 50% with a maximum of 17 weeks, whichever comes first, if it’s not possible to obtain the PMI under the normal inspection arrangements. This needs to take in to account whether any monitored defects were reported on the previous safety inspection.
  • You should always ensure that vehicles are roadworthy at all times and follow the overall advice provided by the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.

To check whether you are eligible for these measures, and for the specific rules you need to adhere to, please refer to the below link for further information: https://www.gov.uk/search/guidance-and-regulation?parent=%2Ftransport%2Fprofessional-driving-of-lorries-buses-and-coaches&topic=b4e41212-77b8-44ba-8fb5-6aa479b20d36&order=updated-newest

These legislative measures are subject to change periodically.

Please ensure you refer to the above link, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up–to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Temporarily operating more vehicles than authorised to meet an urgent public demand

You will need to ask a traffic commissioner to grant a temporary exemption (in writing) from any requirement to hold a standard licence, which would otherwise be imposed by sections 2 and 3 of the Goods Vehicle (Licensing of Operators) Act. In summary this allows for a restricted licence holder to operate for hire or reward, an existing licence holder to temporarily use more vehicles than the licence authorises or for someone who does not hold a licence to use a goods vehicle for hire or reward or in connection with a business.

Traffic commissioners will only consider the use of this power on receipt of a written request from the person/entity proposing to operate. All requests setting out the proposal and justification should be sent to Enquiries@otc.gov.uk. A traffic commissioner will need to be satisfied that an applicant is not unfit to engage in road transport. Additionally, a traffic commissioner may check that:

  • the applicant in not insolvent
  • there are no outstanding maintenance or other issues, which might impact on road safety
  • this is not an attempt to avoid responsibility for alleged failures in compliance
  • the applicant has satisfactory facilities and arrangements for maintaining the vehicles used under the exemption in a fit and serviceable condition.

The traffic commissioner must be satisfied that the exemption is necessary for the purpose of enabling an emergency to be dealt with (in this case, the Covid-19), or enabling some other special need to be met (arising from Covid-19).

The traffic commissioner must also be satisfied that the applicant is engaged exclusively in national transport operations, which hasa minor impact on the transport market due to  the nature of goods carried, or the short distance the goods are carried. In the exceptional circumstances of the outbreak, the Senior Traffic Commissioner has advised the traffic commissioners that they are entitled to rely on a declaration to that effect signed by person or officer of the corporate entity.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/senior-traffic-commissioner-issues-a-statutory-document-in-response-to-the-covid-19-outbreak

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Strengthening our team

We have made significant investment to strengthen our Fleet Control division.

  • 3 new starters bringing considerable expertise to strengthen the team
  • Delivered training sessions with suppliers
  • Implemented a new innovative diagnostic tool providing Fleet Managers/Controllers with detailed information to assist with breakdowns. The online tool offers full vehicle drawings, parts diagrams, repair times and in depth diagnosis for your fleet.

Our focus is ensuring maximum up-time for your fleet and we will continue to invest in our tools and people to deliver the very best service to you.

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Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here