SMMT welcomes cabotage change

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has welcomed the government’s decision to relax cabotage rules for car transporters at peak vehicle registration periods.
Some 400,000 cars and vans are registered in the March and September peaks, and the SMMT argues that there is a risk of bottlenecks
The new policy will see cabotage restrictions temporarily relaxed for car transporters carrying complete cars and vans between 22 February to 31 March and 25 August to 30 September each year.
Usual cabotage restrictions limit all HGVs to no more than three loaded operations across the country within a seven-day period. During the periods of relaxation, there will be no requirement for the vehicle to enter the UK carrying goods, and no limits on the number of operations that may be undertaken here.
“We are extremely pleased that government has agreed to relax the cabotage rules ahead of the March and September registration peaks, it will enable the smooth running of these busy periods, maintaining the UK’s current strength in new car sales and helping to boost our economy as registration volumes continue to grow,” said Nigel Base, SMMT commercial vehicle manager.
“The cabotage rules are something we support as they protect our road freight industry in addition to improving safety. The short relaxation in these rules is welcome and demonstrates government’s appreciation of the value of the automotive industry in the UK, in addition to supporting growing vehicle exports at these busy times.”

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