Thursday, November 1, 2012

Safety and Fair Competition in Road Haulage are the Remit for Traffic Commissioners

Report offers Hauliers a Chance to Judge the Judges
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain have marked the 80th year of commercial vehicle regulation by reinforcing their commitment to the promotion of road safety and fair competition. Acknowledging the substantial changes in road haulage since 1932 when the inaugural report was written, Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell drew comparisons with the work of the present day commissioners. Remarking on financial challenges and the pressure on resources, Mrs Bell renews the traffic commissioners’ objective, by saying:

“Our reports share with those written in 1932 the same commitment to ensuring that commercial businesses and their drivers operate vehicles in a compliant and safe manner, to improve road safety and promote fair competition. This year, as with those more recently passed, commissioners also outline their commitment to further modernise regulation of the goods and passenger transport industries.”

The annual reports of the seven independent traffic commissioners detail their work for 2011-2012, including a breakdown of the action they have taken at public inquiry, and explain how the traffic commissioners work to achieve their mission statement of championing safe, fair and reliable passenger and goods transport.

Reflecting on the commissioners' achievements during the year, including the implementation of the new EU regulations and Statutory Guidance Documents, Mrs Bell acknowledged the ‘huge amount’ of work each commissioner had delivered above and beyond their own jurisdiction, also extending her thanks to the deputy traffic commissioners, who undertook public inquiry work to support commissioners in their additional duties.

Looking forward Mrs Bell noted that commissioners had identified some key matters to progress in the coming year, including the need for proper data sharing agreements to be in place, the publication of a new set of Statutory Guidance Documents regarding bus punctuality and reliability, and clarification as to how the operator licence fee is spent so that they can receive the resources and support they need to regulate effectively. Mrs Bell concluded:

“I am confident we will remain as fit for purpose in the second decade of the 21st century as we did upon our invention in the third decade of the 20th century.”

The full annual report is available online HERE.

Picture: UK Traffic Commissioners. From left to right – Richard Turfitt, Eastern traffic area, Sarah Bell, Western traffic area, Kevin Rooney, North Eastern traffic area, Beverley Bell, Senior Traffic Commissioner and North Western traffic area, Nick Jones, West Midland and Wales, Joan Aitken Scotland and Nick Denton, South Eastern and Metropolitan traffic area.