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The year in view

5th January 1995, Page 18
5th January 1995
Page 18
Page 19
Page 18, 5th January 1995 — The year in view
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

What kind of year was 1994? A year of patchy progress with truck makers, tipper operators and driver agencies detecting signs of new business. A 15-week rail strike helped, but when it was over customers flocked back to the railways. The Channel Tunnel finally opened for freight. Top hauliers scooped the cream of Milk Marque contracts. Livestock operators found their route to the Continent blocked by ferry operators bowing to public pressure. CM launched its campaign to have LGV driving schools regulated, receiving support from industry and politicians. Instead of a Christmas bonus, the Government dealt everyone a double whammy by raising diesel duty twice in a fortnight and blocking moves to 44 tonnes.


cm's pay survey of drivers in six EC member states reveals that British drivers have fallen behind in European pay scales artic drivers in Bremen, Germany can earn £247 for a 40-hour week as opposed to the £165 recommended by the UK's southern Joint Industrial Council.

• Two former managers at Eddie Slobart's Woolfox, Leicestershire depot admit falsifying tachograph records by the company's drivers.

✓ Truck manufacturers predict a 14% rise in sales over 3.5 tonnes during 1994.

4 Robson's pulled out of the Scottish haulage market making 43 of its Scottish drivers redundant.

4 More than 1,000 drivers at British Bakeries threaten strike action over wage cuts of up to £200 a week. A ballot fails to produce the necessary two-thirds majority.


• A squeeze on rates and drivers jobs become likely as supermarkets Tesco and J Sainsbury announce sweeping cost cuts, with Tesco aiming to cut 800 of its staff V Parcel delivery firm Elan crashes leaving Dim of debts and making its 760 staff redundant.

Exel asks 64 Northampton staff dedicated to Sainsbury 's Homebase to accept a wage freeze.

• Red/and Aggregates is fined £5,000 for failing to ensure the safety of an ownerdriver who was covered M molten tar 4 ARC urges its owner-drivers to buy a second truck and employ a driver to meet projected haulage requirements. V Allen Munro Group buys up Din Shank's Transport, adding 12.5m to its .1.7m turnover business.

4 A March flotation of United Carriers parcels group raises .C7m.

4 Hauliers set increases around 1.5% well below the 2.6"b service sector average identified by the CBI.

• A One Transport offers its drivers one-off payments of 1100 to settle a four-month dispute.

V Switzerland gives foreign trucks a 10-year ultimatum to ban them from crossing its territory 4 The seven Traffic Area offices are to become a Government executive agency


• Eurotunnel announces the Channel Tunnel will open to freight in April and says 500 UK hauliers have signed up to use the new service.

• The Traffic Commission calls for a public inquiry to investigate the Sowerby Bridge crash in which six died the previous September.

✓ 0-licence charges are increased by 17.6% from this spring.

4 An Eddie Stobart driver—the 32nd in a year—is charged with falsifying a tachograph chart.

4 The United Road Transport Union announces a skills audit for drivers, comparing them to other similar groups, including airline pilots.

• Hauliers working for Bell Lines of Avonmouth stop work in protest over a payment scheme which will cost them £55 a truck.

✓ The Government's road programme is to be cut by 8% — about ,12bn.

4 The Automobile Association and recovery operators fall out after the AA buys Bailey Toon, a firm funded by recovery operators' trade association AVRO.

4 Up to £1bn a year of truck leasing contracts from the Ministry of Defence looks set to benefit the truck rental market.

• UK hauliers claim they are being victimised by Spanish traffic police with heavy spot fines.

APRIL ✓ Car transporter Toleman merges with Tibbett B ritten subsidiary S ilcock: redundancies are anticePated.

4 The Road Haulage Association announces closure of three of its seven regional offices.

• Peter Dawson, founder of Dawsongroup, is listed by the Sunday Times as the richest man in haulage, with L.100m in shares, • Notices of termination of milk haulage contracts go out to Milk Marketing Board subcontractors, in advance of vesting day on 1 November when the MMB loses responsibility for milk purchase in England and Wales V LGV training schools protest at plans to introduce block booking of tests.


• United Transport UK's 230 chemical and foodstuff delivery drivers accept a 5.9% rise in basic pay.

4 The Vehicle Inspectorate considers ways of formally. registering trailers.

• About 2,500 drivers in South Yorkshire agree a minimum wage of £4 an hour, adding 2.9% to basic wages.

✓ Contract hire companies and owner-drivers benefit from a sudden rise in demand for tippers by construction companies.

4 Bowman International of Durham protests after a driver is fined £750 for carrying belly tanks in France.

+ Danny Bryan takes over from retiring John Moore as leader of the Transport & General Workers' Union's road transport commercial trade group.

• Tarmac agrees to negotiate tipper rates, breaking a deadlock of six years for some of its owner-drivers.

✓ The High Court rules against Parcelforce for infringing the London Lorry Ban.

• Ispwich haulier Peter Baker, boss of White Rose Transport, is convicted of drug smuggling, including duping his innocent drivers into carrying drugs. He is jailed for four and a half years.

.1 UNE

di Job cuts of 70 within the Vehicle Inspectorate threaten levels of enforcement.

• Heron Distribution loses two contracts to rivals believed to be worth .am a year; including the £6m Gateway contract.

✓ The French Department of Transport says it will not allow the use of belly tanks because of the "risk of accidents to other road users': 4 Six MPs and lawyer Stephen Jakobi, chairman of Fair Trials Abroad, lobby the Government to give more help to truck drivers jailed overseas da Restructuring at NFC removes BRS' distribution role; in future it is to concentrate on contract him and truck rental

• Five top hauliers—Tankfreight, United Transport (UK), Lloyd Fraser Holdings, Ryder and Gregory Distribution—scoop £30m of contracts from Milk Marque, successor to the Milk Marketing Board.

✓ The Department of Employment tells Silver Birch it is liable for £200,000 in wages and redundancy payments to 130 drivers loaned), employed by its associate company, Samna,: 4 European Freight Logistics launches the first 44-tonne intermodal service on UK roads

• Aston Clinton Haulage is fined £14,200 for allowing its drivers to drive too many hours and for failing to produce lachos.

• ERE returns to the black with a strong half year performance ✓ 771e DOT warns foreign operators that they will he refused UK entry if they bring in over-length trailers

JULY 4 Peterborough Heavy Haulage accuses police of over' charging it for escort services after it receives bills of £6,000. Television Licensing says truck drivers with a set in their cab need a separate licence.

• The Labour Party announces it will double the amount of long-haul freight carried by rail in its first parliament.

V Southern-based agency drivers can expect to earn 20% more than last year as demand rises.

4 Hanson Transport wins a £.10m chemical contract with ICI.

+ The national signalmen 's strike creates opportunities for hauliers as 48-hour rail stoppages become the norm.


• United Transport is found guilty of unfairly dismissing a driver who resisted a new contract.

V Following public pressure the major ferry companies deride to ban livestock. The European Union bans export of chilled beef carcases because of fears over BSE.

4 The reorganisation of milk collection leads to closure of eight depots of Dairy Products Transport.

+ The rail strike enters its eleventh week. Castle Cement switches four 800-tonne trainloads of cement per week, to road

• NFC chief executive Peter Sherlock resigns after 18 months

✓ Truck dealers are furious at the DVLA decision to close 51 vehicle registration offices.


• cm launches its campaign to have LGV driving schools regulated to the same standards applied to motoring schools by the Government-backed Driving Standards Agency. A survey of drivers gives the campaign a firm thumbsup.

4b More than 300 drivers and distribution workers at Calor Gas vote for strike action to stop the company tearing up its union agreement. The strike threat evaporates and most drivers sign the new contracts.

*The Institute of Directors predicts hauliers will keep 20% of the business won during the rail strike, now in its third month. Despite the strike BR launches Enterprise, a new service for small loads.

✓ Exel Logistics wins a £3m Ford components contract from Swift L. 4 Nottingham parcel firm Placketts goes into recievership, laying off 650 staff at 12 depots.


• Two MPs, David Porter and David Chidgey, sign up to support CM's LGV Driving Schools Campaign.

• In Manchester a two-women tipper operation, Virgin Transport, is threatened with legal action by Richard Branson's Virgin Group for "passing off".

✓ Scottish ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne is to stay in state hands after the Government accepts a report from KPMG. 4 The signalmen's strike ends after 15 weeks. Customers flock back to the railways

+ NEC appoints Sir Christopher Bland as its new chairman.

• French operator Norbert Den tressangle targets Britain for growth with its UK fleet expected to lop 800 by

the year 2000.

✓ More than 50 hauliers fight off council plans to have their Neasden operating centre turned into a site for travellers 4 Michael Meacher MP is named as Labour's new transport spokesman.

+ The TGWU launches high court action to win compensation under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations for drivers sacked between 1981 and 1993, following a toughening of the European law


• MPs David Chidgey and David Porter ask questions in the House of Commons in support of CM'S campaign to regulate LGV driving schools.

vThe Royal Commission's environmental proposals threaten hauliers with older vehicles.

4 Wincanton wins a multi-million pound Woolworths contract from Exel Logistics.

Kent police cuts its LGV roadside checks by 80%, following Government orders that many traffic police should switch to crime detection.

• Former Labour Leader Neil Kinnock is named as European Union Transport Commissioner.

✓ The Government backs down on Post Office privatisation after a backbenchers' revolt.

4 The European Parliament throws out a Commission plan for a 44tonne limit across the EL'.

4 Chancellor Kenneth Clarke's budget increases diesel duty by 3p, taking diesel to just over 40p a litre.


• The Government's defeat on VAT on domestic heating leads to a further hike in diesel duty of ip Labour Leader Tony Blair tells CM the rise is "unhelpful".

✓ The Government rejects a House of Lords recommendation to increase maximum lorry weights to 44 tonnes.

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