FTA says planned motoring services reforms will deliver greater flexibility

Thursday 12 May 2016

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says long-awaited reforms to allow qualified experts in the private sector to conduct Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) tests came a step closer today with the publication of the Department for Transport’s Motoring Services Strategy.

The DfT report outlines proposals for changes to the way the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) operate.
FTA has been calling for greater flexibility in the testing of LGV drivers and of vehicles and says the planned changes will deliver greater flexibility. FTA members are clear that standards and safety must come before convenience, but they believe these can be properly addressed.

James Firth, FTA’s Head of Licensing Policy and Compliance Information, said: “We are pleased that Government has committed to have a proper look at allowing non-Government employees to examine the LGV annual roadworthiness test – many FTA members have been asking for this for some years. Our members are all agreed that standards and safety must come first, but if done in the right way this could offer tremendous flexibility for the industry.”

Other proposals to increase the availability of delegated examiners – individuals in the private sector accredited to examine the LGV driving test – will increase uptake and availability of driving tests to people trying to get into the industry. Current restrictions state that an individual must examine at least 40 tests per year to maintain expertise and they can only test individuals in their own organisations. The fragmentation of the road freight industry means very few organisations have the critical mass to make this viable. The Strategy commits to examine removing the ‘own company’ block.

Mr Firth said: “Road Freight companies are too small to be able to satisfy the existing requirements, which is why of the 100 or so delegated examiners currently only two are in the LGV sector. This change could make it much more straightforward for new drivers to find a test and get their foot on the ladder in the logistics industry.”

The Motoring Services Strategy includes other proposals including:

- A review of DVLA’s Driver Medical Group
- The merger of DVLA and DVSA’s contact centres
- Investigating whether other existing qualifications such as NVQs can be aligned with Driver CPC
FTA Press Office
01892 552255