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Freight People Forum Review – 21 July 2020

Thank you to all of our expert speakers, who delivered most engaging and informative presentations at this month’s freight people #talkingtransport forum.

As always Mike Dawber from NavCIS updated us on the latest crime figures, vehicle crime hotspots, and most common theft types.  A third of HGV crime stems from West Yorkshire.  75% of HGV crime involves the slashing of curtains and 43% of crime is fuel theft.  Remember to report crime to the police and then NaVCIS at freight@navcis.pnn.police.ukAttendees received a copy of the latest NaVCIS crime report.  Please contact us should you require a copy.

Rodger Holden from Crimestoppers gave a brief overview of the work carried out by Crimestoppers.  Of interest to our industry is Crimstopper’s collaboration with Border Force, Transport Police, HMRC and Insurers.  We look forward to welcoming back Rodger in October.  Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously, in confidence, on 0800555111.

Stephen Jordan, Head of the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC), gave an insight into operations at the OTC and the relationship between Traffic Commissioners, the OTC and DVSA.  All Licence applications are handled by the staff at the OTC in Leeds.  Traffic Commissioners are public servants and independent of DVSA.  Last year a total of 70763 licences were issued.  It is surprising to learn that despite the current economic climate, licence applications are on the increase!  Stephen allayed some fears with regard to contacting the OTC and urged attendees not to hesitate to telephone should they have any Licence application issues.

Philip Martin, Head of Policy at the Department of Transport, supplied a most informative presentation on current industry hot topics – HGV MOT vehicle testing, changes to Driver CPC courses, Lorry Parking, COVID business support and the labour shortage.  Philip will be joining us again at our August forum on 18 August.

As always feedback has been phenomenal and we are grateful.  We would like to extend our appreciation to all of our speakers, as well as our sponsors, Consilia Legal, Driven Asset Finance, Freight Train, Motus Commercials, Novis & Co Chartered Accountants  and Wilby Insurers.

29th July 2020

Mental Health First Aid Training 8 July 2020

On 8 July, Freight Train collaborated with Flourish in Mind to host a Mental Health First Aid England Mental Health Awareness training half day.

The event was born out of the success of the Flourish in Mind mental health awareness presentation at the Freight People June forum and was attended by transport colleagues eager to look after the mental health of their teams.

The feedback was phenomenal and we shall be collaborating with Flourish in Mind to offer future courses to Freight Train/Freight People colleagues.

‘Brilliant as usual, great speakers, I personally got so much from the ER presentation, it took the smoke away from going forward and the processes’

‘Just wanted to say thank you for another Fab event – always enjoy Mike’s presentation’s but I really liked the guy from the DVSA – I am definitely going to be looking into Earned Recognition……  I will definitely be signing up for the July forum……. Oh and it helped you giving your experience – I love that you are so open and honest….’

‘I have been working with Lesley through the networking group ‘Freight People’. Lesley started this group early 2020. The Network has grown from strength to strength in a short space of time. This is partly due to Lesley’s industry knowledge but also, her pioneering approach to bring together a group of Transport and Logistics professionals with industry leaders adding great value and expertise at each session.’

‘Lesley’s passion and enthusiasm for the freight industry is infectious. One of the things I most admire about her is how she loves to share her knowledge to assist others. She has a way of bringing us all together, the latest example of this has been the on line forum she has recently set up. She has been a great support to me over the last few years and a great mentor and I know I can always rely on her for sensible guidance. She is the ultimate professional and I love working with her. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending her.’

‘Well, where do I start? I really look up to Lesley as she has the ability to bring people together and bring a fresh twist to her industry. Lesley is incredibly knowledgeable; she is a fantastic speaker and a great host. She is passionate; she is authentic and always thrives for more. Execution is her thing!’

‘Lesley is a brilliant and dedicated logistics expert with a passion for her industry that shines through in her work, both at Freightlink and for She’s RHA. I interviewed and spent time with Lesley on many occasions while covering the road haulage sector for Motor Transport/Commercial Motor and she was invariably well informed, knowledgeable, and open minded and driven. I know many women – and men – in the road transport sectors that have endless respect for Lesley.’


14th July 2020

June freight people #talking transport review – Hot Topic, Earned Recognition

Mike Dawber from NavCIS (National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service) once again provided an informative review of current crime statistics.  It is of concern to note that despite a 40% drop in commercial vehicle crime following ‘lock down’, the last 2 weeks has evidenced a worrying increase in crime. Hot Spots continue to be Northampton and West Yorkshire (M62 corridor). There has been an increase in ‘hook up’ crimes and operators are advised not to leave trailers unattended in insecure areas.

Everyone was encouraged to continue to report crime to the police on 101 and then to report to NaVCIS –

Attendees were provided with the latest NavCIS Crime Bulletin in advance of the meeting and  a digital copy of the CART Security Guide (Cargo and Road Transport Security Guide).

Phil Breen DVSA Earned Recognition National Account Manager, delivered a most informative presentation on Earned Recognition, the DVSA initiative to ‘Help Stay Safe on Britain’s Roads‘ and a copy of the presentation was circulated to attendees. ‘Freight People’ present were given the opportunity to ask questions directly to not only Phil Breen but the Traffic and Vehicle examiner who accompanied him.

This was followed by Lesley O’Brien, Freightlink Europe partner giving a detailed story of her company’s journey from Public Inquiry (12 years ago), to ‘green operator’ to Founder Member Earned Recognition status. Lesley gave a 10 point list of the benefits, along with tips on how to prepare for the audit, find an auditor and IT provider.

What attendees said:

‘Today has been extremely helpful and I will definitely be looking into joining this scheme’.

‘Brilliant as usual, great speakers, I personally got so much from the ER presentation, it took the smoke away from going forward and the processes.

‘Just wanted to say thank you for another Fab event – always enjoy Mike’s presentation but I really liked the guy from the DVSA – I am definitely going to be looking into Earned Recognition……  I will definitely be signing up for July’s forum……. Oh and it helped you giving your experience – I love that you are so open and honest…. ‘

‘That was a good meeting and Phil was very informative. It has given me an insight as to what will be required for Earned Recognition’

‘We have a Board meeting next week and I am going to raise ER as an item, so thanks now that I am better informed’

19th June 2020

freight people #talkingtransport May Review



Once again Mike Dawber from NavCIS gave a really insightful overview of the freight crime statistics. Whilst freight crime in the UK has in general reduced during lockdown, Yorkshire continues to be a crime hotspot with Normanton and Wakefield being among the worst hit areas.

Round the Corner’ crime is particularly prevalent and Drivers should be reminded NEVER to deliver to an alternative address unless they check with THEIR OWN transport office.  Freight Train recommends that such instruction is included in a Drivers’ Handbook.

Google ‘Romanian Rollover’  – another frightening crime that is on the increase in the UK.

To raise awareness, not only of the cost to our industry of freight crime, but also the danger to our Drivers, please ensure that all vehicle/freight crime, no matter how small, is reported in the first instance to the police, but then please also e-mail NaVCIS at

Suspicious circumstances should be reported to Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.  All reporting to Crime stoppers is fully confidential.


Our keynote speakers were:

  • Jennifer Rawlinson from Flourish in Mind,
  • Andrew Drewary from Road Smart Safe
  • Dr David Lee from Sleep Unlimited.

There were so many top tips it is impossible to list them all, but here are a few:

Fitness to Drive:

  • Use the Stop Bang process to check if employees could be suffering from sleep apnoea or any other sleep related disorder.  It is highly recommended that this be included in Driver induction and in ongoing fitness to drive procedures. (Contact freight people for a copy of the 5 simple Stop Bang questions).
  • After every road traffic incident conduct a fitness to drive interview.
  • Don’t forget to ensure Drivers sign that they are fit to drive when they return to work after any period of illness and before taking any vehicle on the road.
  • Ensure Drivers sign a medical declaration and fitness to drive declaration at induction and at least annually thereafter (freight train suggests at least 6 monthly)
  • Ensure that Drivers are aware of medical conditions that require reporting to DVLA and sign a declaration that they have no such conditions

Dealing with anxiety:

  • Be aware that the wellbeing of your colleagues may be changing constantly. We all have our ups and downs or, as I heard this week, ‘we are all in the same storm, but in different boats’. Where are you and your teams in the circle of fear?  Be mindful, as this will help you to support others and indeed be aware of your own state of mind.                                              


  • Plan for employees’ return to work taking into consideration how they may be feeling – fearful, concerned or looking forward to returning.
  • The key is always, listen, talk, ask questions.
  • A few useful APPS:   Calm, Insight Timer, NHS mindplan:
25th May 2020

freight people launch #talkingtransport

January 21 saw the launch of freight people.  Over 50 people attended and so a massive THANK YOU to everyone who supported us and for the kind feedback received – we were overwhelmed.

THANKS too to our fabulous sponsors, Novis Chartered Accountants, Wilby Solicitors, Driven Assett Finance, Motus Commercials and Backhouse Jones Solicitors

Our hot topic for the first event was bridge strikes. Transport lawyer Laura Hadzik from Backhouses gave an engaging presentation. This is a forum for fleet operators, which promotes open conversation and learning, but which can only occur if we are open, honest and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and talk of our experiences. Thanks also therefore to one of my valued clients who spoke of her Company’s experience of a driver hitting a bridge and the emotional, commercial and financial consequences.

These two presentation generated much animated debate. Everyone went away with lots of food for thought and ideas on how to protect their Companies by incorporating best practice procedures.

The next event on 18th February will cover the hot topic of vehicle crime.  Details can be found by searching for freight people on


24th January 2020

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
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