Institute of Transport Administration

Educating Transport Management since 1944


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Temporary extension to Cabotage

2 Nov 2021

Following the recent consultation, ministers have decided to proceed with a temporary relaxation of cabotage rules.  The changes came into effect on 28 October 2021.  The extension is via a statutory instrument and a provision, announced in the Budget, to remove vehicles undertaking the temporary additional cabotage from the requirement to pay vehicle excise duty.

  • Temporarily extend road haulage cabotage until 30 April 2022.
  • Allow unlimited cabotage movements of heavy good vehicles within Great Britain for up to 14 days after arriving in the United Kingdom on a laden international journey.

High level analysis has been carried out on the effect of a missing driver on Gross Value Added (GVA) using the previous 4 years’ worth of GVA (2016-19). Initial results show that the weighted average annual GVA per employee equivalent is around £50,000 in 2021 prices.

There are also international supply chain issues with wider effects, that interact with the domestic lorry driver shortage to compound difficulties with the transport of container traffic and trailers arriving unaccompanied into the UK.

Supply chains have been managing significant disruption for several months, partly due to the shortage of lorry drivers. There have been reduced fulfilment rates and delays to deliveries, including within the food supply chain.

The underlying fact of problems affecting supply chains has not been challenged significantly by the responses to the consultation. It is why the proposals are being brought forward. The Department emphasises that the acute lorry driver shortage will only be resolved by growing the UK-resident labour force.

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