Heavy truck and bus operators want a shake up of the vehicle testing system.
The Freight Transport Associaton say there are not enough Government testers for an increasingly busy sector and it wants to see more trusted companies allowed to carry out their own examinations for roadworthiness.
Alternatively it is suggesting privatization of HGV testing to recruit more engineers and cut down delays.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA), the organisation which speaks for the logistics industry, is urging the Government to undertake a comprehensivereview of the HGV testing market and the way the annual test is delivered.
|Speaking at the ATF Operators’ Association conference, FTA’s Director of Policy Elizabeth de Jong said, “Currently, DVSA is not measuring the factors which indicate whether vehicle testing processes are delivering or not, both for the operator and for legislators.
“We are calling today for a full review of the testing function at DVSA and proper consideration of independent testing.
“Although industry can contribute to this review, it is not our review to lead – it needs to be led by government, as it is their decision makers who will need to be satisfied.
“This needs to be an urgent priority to give clarity and reassurance for all those involved in vehicle testing.”
According to Ms de Jong, the constraints of testers being employed by the Civil Service were preventing DVSA from recruiting staff to deliver the service industry needs.
|Ms de Jong raised FTA’s concerns that DVSA is not measuring the factors which tell the logistics sector if the service is delivering. Instead, FTA has highlighted a range of metrics which are essential to better inform both DVSA and the industry on the difficulties being experienced and how to solve them. These should be publicly available to monitor the efficient delivery of the test system and should encompass:
“Wage caps necessitated by Civil Service pay bands are making the recruitment of engineers for testing facilities a difficult task. Moving the testing process into the private sector could help to make the roles more competitive, and appealing, for the test staff required. Anecdotal evidence from our members indicates that there are still severe shortages of engineers across the country to carry out this vital work, despite assurances to the contrary from DVSA, and this is an area which will need urgent attention in the coming months, to ensure the UK fleet can stay on the road and compliant.”
Following the launch on Tuesday (24/4) of the Earned Recognition scheme, de Jong suggested that operators who had demonstrated the standards to achieve the marque should be allowed to conduct their own tests. “This is a scheme which DVSA has been developing for many years, and we know that its members will be operators of whom DVSA has the highest levels of confidence”.
FTA has pointed to previous commitments by the government to look at the issue of testing, including in the Government’s Motoring Services Strategies in both 2012 and 2016, and in DVSA’s own five year strategy
De Jong concluded, “The time is now right for the HGV testing regime to be subject to a full and thorough review to develop a system which works best for industry, fee payers and road safety.”