The call by Brussels bureaucrats for every van in the UK to be fitted with a tachograph is an unfair and excessive exercise in red tape, which will make it even harder for British business people to make a daily living, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
FTA, which has more than 17,000 member organisations operating vans and HGVs, as well as moving freight by air, sea and rail, has reacted angrily to proposals from members of the European Parliament’s transport committee to introduce tachograph readers to the cabs of every van currently operating on Britain’s roads, as part of the latest draft of the Mobility Package due to be implemented before the UK leaves the EU in 2019.
According to James Hookham, Deputy CEO of FTA, the proposal would have a serious impact on the working lives of those using Britain’s four million vans in their daily business: “Forgetting the cost implications of tachograph installation for so many hard-working British businesses, the introduction of this equipment in the vans sector would be pointless and time consuming. Will small business really have the time and ability to analyse the necessary data and plan their work around so many new working time rules? Would governments have the resources to enforce the move? The proposal is simply unenforceable, and a case of MEPs making bad decisions on the fly.”
Van operators are already facing increasing pressure due to the introduction of clean air zones around the country later this year, which could penalise operators with all but the very newest vehicles, and rising inflationary pressure and the continued high price of fuel duty payable on diesel. In the latest draft of the EU’s Mobility Package, currently making its way through the European parliament, operators of vans (commercial vehicles between 2.4 and 3.5 tonnes) would be required to fit and operate a tachograph, as HGVs are required to do at present.
“Vans are now central to our daily lives, with next day deliveries a given for households and business,” continues Hookham. “Introducing a pointless measure like tachographs for van operators will not benefit our small and medium sized businesses but strangle them with red tape, at a time when they should be being encouraged to flourish and expand.”