Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Road Haulage Lobby Gets a Win on HGV Roadworthiness Testing

Government Announces Immediate Review of Procedures
Shipping News Feature

UK – The credit for the government announcement that it is to review roadworthiness testing for HGVs was immediately claimed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) which said the decision by the Department for Transport was a direct result of its 'relentless lobbying'.

Ministers say the review will focus on understanding whether current roadworthiness testing is fit for purpose and provide evidence as to whether it supports or hinders the effective operation of the haulage and logistics industries. The move has almost certainly been prompted due to the Covid-19 situation which saw testing abandoned as the importance of keeping the haulage industry mobile during a time of crisis became apparent to all.

Obviously one cannot pre-empt what will be decided but industry observers believe this may be a time when HGV testing moves from being a monopoly of the DVSA with Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) operators being awarded a licence to test independently. Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said:

"We have been leading the way to achieve sustainable HGV testing. DVSA's testing system is no longer fit for purpose. It was not sustainable before the pandemic and won’t be sustainable as we go forward. It’s essential that we have a system that’s efficient and is done by qualified, independent, authorised staff."

Ministers say they will consider options for the future of testing to achieve the best outcomes for road safety and industry at the end of the review, with work expected to conclude by the end of the year. The review is anticipated to cover the following key issues:

  • Resilience and responsiveness in the testing system
  • Expected lead times for test bookings, and local variations
  • Understanding and reconciling customer, testing facility provider and DVSA information, along with evidence and feedback about the current testing system
  • Establishing a single, clear evidence base with which to assess levels of testing performance

Baroness Vere's letter to the RHA making the announcement can be viewed HERE.