Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Road Haulage Group Protests to Minister About HGV Testing Uncertainty

Claims That DVSA Approach Has Been Wrong from the Start of the Crisis
Shipping News Feature

UK – The chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), Richard Burnett, has written to roads minister Baroness Vere strongly voicing the concerns of the RHA and its members about the DVSA regarding commercial vehicle roadworthiness testing. Burnett says the RHA was concerned about the relaxation of HGV testing, and DVSA's approach to it, even before the viral outbreak took hold.

He went on to point out that, at a time when the whole logistics industry is having to maintain vehicles to keep food and medicines moving, something that RHA members are inextricably bound up in being so often the essential ‘final mile’ carriers, surely now is the time for decisive action to reintroduce, in June or July, delegated HGV testing.

HGV testing is an essential part of managing road safety and operators are pushing hard to gain clarity for when the suspension will be lifted for their operational planning. Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) businesses have also been closed by DVSA’s actions with no right of appeal and no suggested alternatives.

When testing recommences from what, in effect, will be a standing start, the RHA is concerned that there will be an immediate backlog due to an insufficient number of DVSA examiners available to meet demand. Burnett continued:

“There is a growing sense that DVSA has failed to consider and deal with the suspension of roadworthiness testing in a reasonable way. Their behaviour in dealing with this issue and the lack of consideration for the needs of Authorised Test Facilities and hauliers throughout this crisis is simply unacceptable.

“Our proposal for delegated testing is not new. But despite making many requests to DVSA to authorise qualified people to test trucks and trailers at ATFs, in addition to DVSA’s own employees, we are still at an impasse. Clearly our preference would be for this to be a permanent measure, but right now, it provides a good, short-term solution to get testing up and running quickly”.

Photo: Courtesy of DVSA.