CPA calls for action on embargo times for construction equipment

CPA calls for action on embargo times for construction equipment

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, outlining its concerns on embargo times - police enforced movement orders which are preventing the movement of construction plant and equipment at the beginning and end of the day.

CPA members increasingly fear these movement orders are being applied in a disproportionate manner, which in turn, are having an impact on their day-to-day operations and the smooth and efficient movement of construction machinery across the country.

The letter highlights the inconsistent approach being adopted by different police forces, with several being particularly stringent and inflexible in their interpretation and enforcement of embargo times. Mobile crane hire companies in particular, are seemingly being targeted.

One CPA member was notified by their local force, they had infringed their movement order by just 49 seconds.

As part of its research, the CPA has also received reports of police vehicles sitting outside hire depots and construction sites, monitoring the movement of construction equipment.

A newly published report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) ‘The Costs of Increased Police Enforcement of Abnormal Loads Regulations’ highlights the impact this is having on the wider haulage industry - with high end estimates citing a £1.5bn loss of economic activity over a 10 year period due to these regulations. Longer journey times due to the current enforcement practices, alongside the associated costs which could well cost businesses upwards of £2.4bn over the same period. The CEBR estimates UK plc would eventually be over £5bn better off if a more consistent approach was taken.

The letter from the CPA calls for next month’s review of the Association of Chief Police Officer’s (ACPO) 2010 ‘Guidance on the Movement of Abnormal Indivisible Loads’ to take a sensible and consistent approach to their application and enforcement, with the review working with the construction industry.

David Smith, CPA legal manager, said: “The construction industry is the heartbeat of the economy, with the plant-hire sector critical to the successful development and delivery of large-scale infrastructure projects and the housing we need. Our members pride themselves on their professionalism in their approach to the safe delivery of construction equipment to sites right across the country.

“It is disappointing that the police enforcement teams are taking this approach, to the very real detriment to our members and the long-term viability of their businesses. We are calling for greater engagement and common sense on the part of forces across the country.”

The letter addressed to Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper was also sent to Construction Minister Alan Mak, Policing Minister Chris Philp, Roads Minister Guy Opperman, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Louise Haigh, Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Roads Minister Bill Esterson and Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner who is also the lead on Road Policy at the National Police Chief Council (NPCC).

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