Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Outgoing DVSA Boss Wins No Support from the Road Haulage Community

Evidence to Transport Select Committee Brings Instant Criticism
Shipping News Feature

UK – When Gareth Llewellyn, outgoing head of the DVSA appeared before the Commons Transport Select Committee today (25 November 2020) which was investigating the work of his agency, the headlines were all about his suggestion that driving tests could begin in 'supermarket car parks'. That however was not what had most relevance to the commercial transport sector.

The car park observation seems to have met with some positive comments , being praised for convenience for instructors who are without their vehicles for an hour or so, and learners who benefit from theoretically better and more suitable ‘meet and greet’ locations.

Whilst Mr Llewellyn said the move would save costs (and doubtless allow the agency to cash in on some property sales), his comments aimed at management of the current Operator Licence administration produced an instant response from such as David Wells, Chief Executive of Logistics UK, who said:

“To say the Traffic Commissioner service is ‘anachronistic’ and the haulage industry does not need its support, totally ignores the huge benefits in safety and compliance which the service provides to the sector. During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Traffic Commissioners supported industry to keep goods and services flowing to keep the country running, unlike DVSA, which closed down all its services and only reacted to the urgent needs of operators when pushed by industry.

”The Traffic Commissioners kept their doors open to assist the work of our members throughout 2020, a modern and forward-thinking approach, and not one rooted in the 20th century, as Mr Llewellyn claimed.”

These sentiments were shared by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the matter being particularly relevant to an organisation whose members are all directly affected by the actions of both DVSA and Traffic Commissioners. In a statement which pulled no punches and released after hearing Mr Llewellyn’s comments to the Committee, the RHA spokesman said:

”The Transport Commissioners have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, unlike the DVSA. We have been disappointed by the leadership of Gareth Llewellyn on a number of issues, including this one, and look forward to a change at the top of the DVSA.”