Did flooding in the UK affect your fleet?

It will be remembered as The Great Flood of 2015. Storms and heavy rain caused serious flooding across many parts of the UK at the end of 2015 and well into the start of 2016.

Homes were wrecked, power cut off and people’s lives were endangered. But there was another disruption that the mainstream media ignored: the transport industry was thrown into turmoil during the busy Christmas period.

There were widespread road closures and the authorities repeatedly warned drivers not to travel. Major bridges were closed and even the crucial M62 motorway was closed at one stage when a huge sinkhole appeared.

At the time of writing the total cost of the damage hasn’t been calculated and some areas are still recovering. The ground is still very wet, so further floods may well occur.

The floods of 2014 were less severe but the cost of damage to fleet vehicles in that wet weather alone was £2.5m. This year’s weather chaos is expected to be even more costly. And it’s not only damage to vehicles; the additional cost of damage to business premises, goods in storage and failed deliveries needs to be accounted for.

Commercial transport fleets in the worst hit areas may be entitled to some compensation however. The government has announced a package of financial help so that “flood affected businesses that have had their trading disrupted can get back on their feet, with funding equivalent to £2,500”.

The exact criteria aren’t clear yet though and it seems likely your chance of compensation will depend on your local authority. The government says: “Each local authority is running its own assistance scheme. Contact your local council direct, they will be happy to help you apply for any funding for which you might be eligible. This is part of a wider package of support available to businesses and residents, including business rate and Council Tax relief, for which you should apply to the relevant local authority.” More details here.

Hauliers across the country showed their generosity by helping victims of the worst of the flooding. The TPN, The Pallet Network, used its 117-depot nationwide freight operation to collect emergency relief donations from around the UK and send them to the thousands of homeless families in Cumbria.

Morecambe-based SCS Logistics opened its depot as a relief centre. Managing director Sandra Cottam-Shea said: “We are receiving donations of non-perishable essentials all the time and as soon as we have a full van-load, we are taking them to whichever area is in most need.”

Hopefully the worst of the flooding has passed and we can all breathe a sigh of relief and get back to BAU. In case of further flooding, please read advice for driving in floods from the Freight Transport association here.