he Road Haulage Association has called on the Department for Transport to allow the private sector to carry out statutory annual tests of trucks – ending the monopoly of its executive agency, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
VOSA continues to hold a monopoly of truck testing. However, with the increasing number of VOSA-approved Authorised Testing Stations continuing to increase, the RHA argues that the agency’s monopoly on carrying out tests is no longer appropriate.
“In the past, most tests were carried out by VOSA at its own, dedicated test centres. But the move away from VOSA sites means that around half of all tests care now being done at ATFs and that proportion continues to grow,” said RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning.
“I have written to DfT minister Mike Penning urging him to move forward on opening testing to the private sector, within a robust system of high-quality regulation. VOSA’s monopoly makes little sense in the ATF era. It adds Red Tape and obstacles to business. It prevents much of the potential gains of ATFs being realised, in terms of cost and flexibility that would flow from allowing the private sector – including approved ATF employees – to do the testing.
“And ending the monopoly would be likely to encourage more firms to invest in bringing their workshop up to test standards, which would be likely to have a positive knock-on effect on maintenance as a whole and would contribute to UK economic growth.
“We have consulted members over an extended period and again in recent weeks and the clear message is that it is time to end VOSA’s monopoly,” said Geoff Dunning.