COMMON SENSE PREVAILS IN RED TAPE CHALLENGE BUT SAFEGUARDS NEEDED, SAYS FTA
Among a diverse package of measures to save industry and motorists time and money, the Government’s Red Tape Review will bring some notable and common sense changes to regulations affecting the road transport sector. However, the Freight Transport Association warns that while many of the suggestions will serve to eliminate unhelpful and costly bureaucracy, government must consult with industry to ensure its recommendations bring maximum benefit to business.
Proposals to scrap the regulation requiring drivers to hold a paper counterpart to their driver licence by 2015 will reduce an administrative burden on drivers and ultimately save money. But the scheme must come with an important caveat, according to FTA's Director of National and Regional Policy, Karen Dee, “A lot of commercial vehicle operators check the validity of the drivers they employ from penalty points on their counterpart. If this is removed then a robust system is needed that will allow potential employers to gauge clearly and instantly a driver’s entitlement to drive.”
FTA also believes that the removal of the regulation surrounding the notification process for vehicles that are not in use on the road (Statutory Off Road Notification) is something to be applauded. Dee continued:
“Removing the annual burden of SORN renewal is good news for motorists who may have one or two vehicles off the road at any one time, but for large fleet operators the benefits will be even greater.”
The Government’s Red Tape Review outcomes will reverberate across the whole transport sector. Dee concluded:
“From bells on bicycles to the length of dog leads permitted on certain roads, this package of measures is nothing if not comprehensive. But clearly there are measures which will have a more direct impact on our members; the potential for clearer road signage alerting lorry drivers to inappropriate roads is something to be welcomed.
And we will be particularly focussed on consultations arising from recommendations to raise the national speed limit – which could apply to HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriage ways – which must be done in a way that brings the speed limits for lorries and other road users closer together to avoid risky overtaking.”