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DfT Publishes HGV Testing & Operator Licencing Consultations

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published two public consultations which propose to alter and tighten legislation relating to HGV testing and goods vehicle operator licencing.

Firstly, the consultation on HGV testing proposes to remove nine and modify one of the exemptions in Schedule 2 to the Goods Vehicles (Plating & Testing) Regulations 1988. Amongst those categories being considered for removal are:

  • Mobile cranes
  • Break-down vehicles
  • Engineering plant
  • Trailers, being drying or mixing plant, designed for the production of asphalt, bituminous or tarmacadam
  • Tower wagons
  • Road Construction Vehicles (not road rollers or other specialised equipment used in the road construction process)
  • Electrically propelled motor vehicles
  • Vehicles constructed or adapted for, and used primarily for the purpose of medical, dental, veterinary, health, educational, display, clerical or experimental laboratory services
  • Tractor units pulling exempt trailers

The categories being considered for modification are:

  • Vehicles having a base or centre in any of the following islands, namely Arran, Bute, Great Cumbrae, Islay, Mull, Tiree or North Uist from which use of the vehicle on a journey is normally commenced

The reason for this review is due to the fact that the number of exempt vehicles is growing which in turn causes concerns about road safety. There have also been changes at European Union level which have subsequently caused compatibility issues with the exemptions that UK legislation currently allows.

Secondly, the consultation on operator licencing focuses mainly on bringing engineering plant into scope of the legislation; however, four other categories are also under consideration including:

  • Recovery and break-down vehicles
  • Showman’s vehicles
  • Mobile cranes
  • Electrically operated vehicles

Again, the main reason for these proposals surrounds road safety. As most of these vehicles are based on a normal HGV chassis, and bearing in mind the proposals to bring most of these vehicles into the scope of Plating & Testing regulation, it is thought that there would be very little difference between these vehicles and other HGV’s governed by operator licencing legislation.

Both consultations remain open until 5th March 2015. If you would like to respond to either publication, you can access them here and here.