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Drive & Cycle Safety

I loved the sense of community as once again young and old congregated to cheer on cyclists and support the Tour de Yorkshire. Once again this year we enjoyed glorious weather, which served to showcase our fabulous Yorkshire countryside.   Subsequently I have seen an abundance of cyclists on our roads.  Each morning there have been illuminated signs on the way to work warning motorists to ‘watch out for cyclists’.  The transport community and in particular HGV drivers are all too well aware of the necessity to share road space and to be particularly alert to any vulnerable road user.

Most transport companies have vulnerable road user policies in place. HGV drivers attend Driver CPC training with regards driving defensively and being alert to cyclists and  when driving in areas posing particular hazards such as around schools, shopping precinct, parks etc.  Indeed some truck drivers have ridden bikes for half a day to appreciate what it feels like to be a cyclist on the road.

Rarely do we see signs on our roads alerting cyclists to the dangers they face on our roads. Many cyclists, especially those who are inexperienced, have just taken up cycling, or children are particularly vulnerable and unaware of HGV blind spots, the particular danger of undertaking HGVs, when to use the Advanced Stop Line (ASL) and the importance of making eye contact.

This is an opportune time to reiterate Freight Train’s safety advice for both truck drivers and cyclists. in order that both parties may enjoy driving and cycling safely. Download our flyer:

14th May 2019

Draft Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

The draft Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (draft Regulations) together with an explanatory memorandum were published on 14 January 2019. The key provisions will come into force on exit day.

For road transport operations undertaken exclusively within the UK after exit day, the rules currently set out in the EU Drivers’ Hours Regulation (561/2006) and the EU Tachograph Regulation (165/2014) (together the EU Regulations), relating to drivers’ hours and tachographs will continue to apply, as set out in retained domestic versions of those Regulations.

For road transport operations between the UK and EU Member States, Switzerland, or non-EU EEA Member States, the rules contained in the European Agreement concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles engaged in the International Road Transport of 1 July 1970, as amended (“the AETR”), will apply, in place of the EU Regulations, after exit day. The AETR is a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Agreement and the UK, the 27 EU Member States, and a further 21 countries (including EEA Member States Norway and Lichtenstein, but not Iceland), are contracting parties to it. As the EU Regulations and the AETR contain the same rules, international road transport operations will be subject to the same drivers’ hours and tachographs requirements from exit day as before exit day.

Part 2 of the draft Regulations, which comes into force 22 days after the draft Regulations are made, amends existing legislation to fully implement the existing provisions of the EU Regulations and the AETR, including by creating three new offences, amending two existing offences and making various other consequential amendments.

18th January 2019

Love the lorry week

This week is love the lorry week. Take a look at what Lesley has to say in Motor transport.

17th September 2018

General Data Protection Regulations

On 28 May 2018 General Data Protection Regulations came in to force.

Companies are required to ensure the privacy of their employees and any personal data which they may process. This may include telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, name and contact details, bank details etc.
Freight Train’s fair processing notice can be viewed here:

What some companies may not realise is that from the same date any organisation or sole trader who processes personal data must register with the ICO and pay a data protection fee. For further information refer to the ICO website, where there is an online tool:

6th June 2018

Diversity and Inclusion at the Microlise Conference

On 16 May 2019 Microlise held its annual transport conference and awards attended by over 1000 delegates. It was once again hosted by Quentin Wilson and included a host of speakers from throughout the industry speaking on subjects such as vehicle emissions and clean air zones, preventing HGV related terrorism, the rise of electric vehicles, platooning and the Brexet debate.

Lesley O’Brien held a workshop creating a case for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, arguing that every effort to address the skills shortage and attract people to our industry would be pointless if the transport industry failed to embrace a more diverse and inclusive workforce which was representative of the community in which we all live

After the workshop, Lesley was interviewed by Emma Shone of Commercial Motor

Lesley will be speaking again at a She’s RHA event being hosted by Autotrader in Manchester on 26 June.   The event is for both men and women, so please come along

For further information and to register:

6th June 2018

The so called self-employed driver

There has been much discussion with regard to the use of so called self-employed drivers and drivers employed by umbrella companies. HMRC guidance is clear that for a driver to be self-employed he/she must have both an operator’s licence and a vehicle (click here to see our article October 2017 / article Commercial Motor). HMRC has now opened a consultation

6th June 2018


Congratulations to Lesley O’Brien for getting to the finals of the FTA Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards 2018, category Above and Beyond. Results to be announced on 14 June at a luncheon at the London Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square – fingers crossed!

6th June 2018


There is still time to register for Freight Trains ADR course commencing 26 June. Attendees will gain 21 hours driver CPC. Day 1 may be attended as a ‘stand-alone’ day to gain 7 hours driver CPC.

Only a couple of spaces remain on the next open driver CPC course covering drivers’ hours and the working time directive on 23 June 2018. The next open course is on 14 July and covers health and safety in the workplace and on the road.

For full details of all Driver CPC and ADR courses:

Or, contact Nicola on 01274 608900.

6th June 2018

Get well soon:

Sending best wishes to our trainer Garry, who has recently fallen and sustained a hip injury.   Freight Train’s July CPC course, which should have been delivered by Garry has therefore been changed from Fuel Efficient Driving to Health and Safety and shall be delivered by Lesley.

Course details and objectives:

6th June 2018


The DVSA has issued its new HGV inspection manual, detailing guidelines to be followed by vehicle inspectors. The new guidelines come into force from 20 May 2018.

Click hear to view guidelines

Click here to view changes:

11th May 2018


Policy cover for Lima Insurance / Alpha ceases with effect from 8 May 2018

It has been announced that motor insurer Lima Insurance, also known as Alpha has been declared bankrupt.

Operators are at risk of operating vehicles without insurance and should contact their broker immediately .


9th May 2018


It is now 2 years since Lesley launched She’s RHA campaign on behalf of the RHA (Road Haulage Association) to improve the gender imbalance in transport by supporting, empowering and encouraging women both from within our industry and from the wider community.   The scope of She’s RHA has now extended and our focus is on making our industry more inclusive and diverse.  Lesley will be discussing the benefits of a diverse workforce at this years’ Microlise Conference on 16 May 2018.  She would love you to come along and say hello.



3rd May 2018


The DVSA Guide to Graduated Fixed Penalties has been replaced with two new guides

3rd May 2018


As from 5 March 2018 DVSA are able to issue graduated fixed penalties for any infringement within the last 28 days, to a maximum of 5 drivers’ hours offences, which could mean a maximum fine of £1500 for the driver.

Transport operators however need to remember that they have an obligation to advise the traffic commissioner within 28 days of any such fine.   With the risk of drivers receiving more fines, is there a risk that more operators being called to public inquiry?

3rd May 2018


DVSA has advised that use of AdBlue emulators is an offence on a par with using a magnet to falsify drivers’ hours records. Such emissions cheating devices disable the AdBlue system.  Operators found using such devices will in all probability be subject to a full fleet maintenance inspection and referral to the area traffic commissioner, who are taking a dim view of operators using such devices.

What is surprising and questionable is the claim from operators that they were totally unaware.   We suggest that operators request their maintenance provider to, where possible, check for such devices at inspection.  A simple way for operators to check however is to monitor AdBlue usage.

3rd May 2018


On 24 April 2018 at the CV Show DVSA officially launched the Earned Recognition Standard.  Head of DVSA Gareth Llewellyn thanked operators for working with DVSA to make the launch possible.

As one of the first transport operators to be accredited with the standard, sister Freightlink Europe was pleased to receive a certificate

Lesley O’Brien worked hard with the Freightlink Europe team to ensure that all criteria were met. Freight Train is available to speak to any operator wishing to apply for the standard or wishing assistance.

To see the full list of operators:

3rd May 2018


DVSA took the opportunity to launch its new revised edition of the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness. The guide is no longer available in hard copy, but can be accessed at:

The main updates are

  • Safety inspection intervals.   The previous annex A of the guide has been removed. This has been replaced with case studies to encourage operators to evaluate their own safety requirements when considering inspection intervals
  • Safety Inspection Records. The example inspection report has been updated to include brake temperatures and an amended report sign off
  • Safety Inspection and Repair Facilities. This section has been amended, putting the onus on operators to ensure that both in-house and external inspection facilities are fit for purpose and sufficient for the job. There is a recommendation that both workshops and technicians are able to demonstrate competence.
  • Tyre Management.   Tyre defects are amongst the most common when issuing prohibitions. The Guide gives further information with regard to tyre management
  • Brake Testing.   The Guide has more information with regard to brake testing. It is strongly recommended that laden roller brake testing to be carried out at every inspection. The guide however includes information on Electronic Braking Performance Monitoring Systems (EBPMS). If road testing is being used to assess brakes, the Guide recommends that b rake temperature readings are recorded on the inspection sheet
  • Drivers’ Daily Defect Report. This report has been updated to include vehicle height checks and Adblue system checks. An example is given in Annex 3B.   The Guide details the legal responsibilities of drivers
  • Third party traction. The Guide clarifies the duties of the operator and vehicle owner with regard to third party traction
  • Emissions and Air Quality. There is a new section on exhaust emissions. This stresses the importance of correct maintenance of vehicle emission control systems.
  • Using IT systems for vehicle maintenance. Other guides have now been incorporated into the Guide for Roadworthiness

It is strongly suggested that operators take the time to familiarise themselves with the new Guide

3rd May 2018

GDPR (General Data Protection)

As part of our preparation for GDPR we shall be cleansing our database and only sending our newsletter to individuals with company e-mail addresses.   Should you no longer wish to receive our news, then please unsubscribe. We will be sad to see you go L

Should individuals wish to continue to receive our newsletter, please e-mail, requesting that you continue to be included in our newsletter.  You may of course unsubscribe at any time

3rd May 2018


On 20 March the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey 2018* was released highlighting the number of potholes on our roads.   Lesley spoke to local BBC Radio Leeds about the impact for the road haulage fraternity.  ‘More potholes mean more breakdowns mean more roadworks and more delays’ said Lesley.  With an increase in online purchases very few deliveries begin and end on a motorway or trunk road.  There is therefore a requirement for increased commitment to local roads as well as main roads.  The road network is our industry’s place of work.  Road conditions affect our ability to do our job well.  The Asphalt Industry Alliance report claims that ‘one in five of local roads are now classed as structurally poor – with less than five years’ life remaining’.   The long term strategy for roads must include traffic flow, signalling technology and information technology. President of the AA, Edmund King pointed out that responding to a Parliamentary question, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport Jesse Norman revealed that four cyclists had been killed and 60 seriously injured in 2016 following accidents involving pothole and since 2007 defective road surfaces have contributed to 22 cyclist deaths  and 368 serious injury incidents!

*The ALARM survey 2018 was completed by 60% of authorities responsible for roads in England, London and Wales and was carried out during December 2017, January and February 2018

21st March 2018


Following a tweet by Lesley O’Brien earlier this year asking Motor Transport why there were no women in its ‘Top 10 Power Players’, Lesley was contacted by Commercial Motor and invited to write a column for its ‘red line’.   You can read Lesley’s articles to date by clicking the links below:

10th March 2018
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