Tag Archives: Transport

New Chair Appointed To British Transport Police Authority Board

Ron Barclay-Smith appointed to British Transport Police Authority

Rail Tracks

Rail Tracks

A former RAF officer will be the new chair of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA).

Ron Barclay-Smith, who served in the RAF Regiment, was chosen following an independent selection process and has been appointed for a 4 year term from 5 March 2018.

He will chair the BTPA Board which holds the British Transport Police (BTP) to account to make sure the service upholds passenger safety and security on an increasingly busy transport network.

Mr Barclay-Smith is currently a non-executive director at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. He has also held various chief executive roles, including in the legal and health sectors, and has chaired a variety of organisations, including Veterans Scotland. He served in the RAF Regiment from 1972 to 1991, including 3 operational tours in Northern Ireland.

Rail Minister Jo Johnson said:

I should like to thank Mark Phillips for his contribution during his period as interim chair of the BTPA.

Ron Barclay-Smith has a wealth of experience and will provide vital and strong leadership for the BTPA over the next 4 years, as we invest in the biggest modernisation programme of the railways since Victorian times.

We have one of the safest railway networks in Europe and BTP officers play a vital role in keeping the travelling public safe, so it is vital we continue to give them the support they need to do that job.

Mr Barclay-Smith said:

I am delighted to have been appointed and I look forward to working closely with colleagues and staff at the authority, the Chief Constable and officers of the BTP, and the many stakeholders involved in the railway system in our country.

This is an exciting time for the railways as passenger numbers increase and a huge modernisation and development programme takes place. It is therefore a critical time for policing on the railways, and we need to ensure that investment is targeted in the right areas and front-line policing is sustained and supported effectively.

The BTP is a specialist, national force that provides a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers. It also polices other networks – the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Croydon Tramlink, Sunderland Metro and Glasgow Subway. It has around 3,000 police officers and around 600 PCSOs and special constables. The BTPA was established in 2004 to improve the public accountability of the BTP.

Government Introduces Haulage Permits And Trailer Registration Bill

Bill gives powers to support UK hauliers operating internationally after the UK leaves the EU



The government has today (7 February 2018) introduced legislation on cross-border haulage as the UK continues its preparations for life outside the EU.

The UK’s overall aim in the negotiations with the EU is to maintain and develop the existing liberalised access for commercial haulage, as part of the wider future partnership.

It is possible that the future deal with the EU could require a form of permitting system and the government will need to have legal frameworks in place to introduce a new administrative system if required.

The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill, which was introduced by Baroness Sugg in the House of Lords, gives the government this flexibility.

This is part of wider government preparations to ensure the UK can deliver a smooth and orderly Brexit, as we move from our current membership of the EU to our future partnership. This bill gives the UK the powers we need to support UK hauliers to continue operating internationally after the UK leaves the EU.

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary said:

Our road haulage industry is right at the heart of the £110 billion of trade that takes place between the UK and EU every year.

We believe reaching an agreement to continue the liberal access enjoyed by both sides is in everyone’s interests and remain confident we will do so.

But I also understand that hauliers are planning for the years ahead and want to have certainty that any future deal can be implemented smoothly – so this Bill ensures we have plans in place if the deal requires a permitting system.

Key elements of the bill include:

  • arrangements to enable a permit scheme if required as part of a deal with the EU – ensuring UK hauliers can obtain the necessary paperwork to provide services to and from EU countries
  • the establishment of a trailer registration scheme in line with the 1968 Vienna Convention – this will ensure UK operators driving on the continent can comply with the requirements of those EU countries which require the registration of all trailers travelling on their roads

Some European countries have agreements with third countries which require a permit as a condition for hauliers to operate across borders. The bill will ensure we are prepared to manage the issuing of permits should this be needed as part of post exit arrangements.

Through a separate parliamentary process to the bill, the UK intends to ratify the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. The convention was introduced by the United Nations to build on earlier conventions that enable international road travel and increase safety by establishing common traffic rules.

Under the convention’s terms, access to foreign roads is only guaranteed for registered motor vehicles and trailers. The bill will therefore enable the UK to introduce and enforce an international trailer registration system. Mandatory registration will apply primarily to commercial trailers travelling internationally.

The UK already conforms to the majority of aspects in the convention through the Highway Code. Exemptions will be applied to some of the articles within the convention.

James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association, said:

The Freight Transport Association supports this bill as a sensible contingency measure, but one that exporting and importing businesses hope never has to be used.

Any decision which will enable the frictionless movement of trade to continue between the UK and EU is to be welcomed, and the UK’s logistics industry needs reassurance that ‘business as normal’ can continue throughout the negotiations and transition period.

We also support the government’s objective of ensuring that no limits are set on the number of goods vehicles crossing between the EU and UK after Brexit, to ensure that Britain and its European neighbours can maintain an effective trading relationship.

EU Transport Council: Agenda For 5 December 2017

Chris Grayling to attend the December 2017 EU Transport Council covering mobility, freight road tolls, safeguarding competitions plus other issues

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

I will attend the only formal Transport Council under the Estonian Presidency (the Presidency) taking place in Brussels on Tuesday 5 December (2017).

The first item on the agenda will be a progress report on phase one of the mobility package, focusing on proposals designed to improve the clarity and enforcement of the EU road transport market (the ‘market pillar’), and proposals on the application of social legislation in road transport (the ‘social pillar’).

Following this, the Presidency has proposed a policy debate on the ‘charging pillar’ of the package. The proposals to amend the existing directives on HGVroad tolls and user charges (‘Eurovignette’) and the interoperability of electronic road toll systems (EETS) set out rules for charging vehicles using the road (but do not mandate such charging) and promote better functioning of charging across national barriers.

Next, there will be a progress report on the proposed amendment to the regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport. The proposal aims to tackle discriminatory practices and address perceived deficiencies in the existing legislation by allowing complaints to be made to the European Commission by a wider range of interested parties who suspect, or have evidence that, one or more EU carriers are being harmed by the unfair practices of a third country.

The council will adopt conclusions on the progress on Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The conclusions do not place any binding requirements on member states. They recognise the value that the TEN-T Policy and CEF (the associated funding programme) bring to EU transport infrastructure and look to strengthen transport investment in the next EU budgeting period. The UK can support these conclusions.

Conclusions will also be adopted on the digitalisation of transport. ‘Digital Europe ‘ has been a priority for the Estonian Presidency and the conclusions highlight the potential and challenges for the digitalisation of transport and, amongst other things, call on the commission to develop a comprehensive and multimodal digitalisation strategy for the transport sector during the first quarter of 2019. The UK can support their adoption.

Next, the council will adopt conclusions on mid-term evaluation of the Galileo, EGNOS and European GNSS Agency. We welcome these conclusions and, in particular, the need for new recommendations about the future evolution of the programme to be proportionate and costed before they are brought forward for decision.

Under any other business, the commission will first present phase 2 of the mobility package, which focuses on clean mobility and includes proposals on promotion of clean and energy-efficient vehicles, combined transport of goods, and access to the market for coach and bus services. The presidency will provide information on the state of play on the proposed rail passenger rights regulation. The delegations from Germany, the Commission, Poland, France and Finland will, respectively, provide information on automated cars, implementation of the aviation strategy, World Maritime Days, IMOgreenhouse gas emission reduction strategy, and summertime arrangements. The commission will also provide information on military mobility, and finally, the Bulgarian delegation will present the transport work programme of their forthcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.