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Latest Update to Traffic Commissioner Guidance – 12th April 2022

Here is the latest round up of updates from the Traffic Commissioners’ Office:

The series of amendments published on 12th April 2022 incorporate the new regulations on Light Goods Vehicles (LGV’s) across the Traffic Commissioners’ Guidance documents.  Specifically they deal with how the traffic commissioners should approach the licensing of light goods vehicles and how the legislation differs between vehicles classified as “Heavy Goods Vehicles” and those as “Light Goods Vehicles”.  the guidance details the need for light goods vehicle operators, upon application for a licence to satisfy the traffic commissioner that any risk to endangering people, vehicles or property when entering or exiting a proposed operating site can be safely managed, (click here to view further documentation) as well as details of the new inclusion of financial standing rates for operators of Light Goods Vehicles.  For Heavy Goods Vehicle operators, the first heavy goods vehicle authorised is set at £8,000 with each additional heavy goods vehicle authorised set at £4,500 and then any authorised light goods vehicle at £800 each.  For operators using only light goods vehicles the first authorised vehicle is set at £1,600, with the same figure of £800, as required for operators of HGV’s, for each additional authorised vehicle.

With regard to the requirements for “stable and effective establishment” of operating centres, the new guidance states that a separate application must be made in relation to each traffic area in which there is to be an operating centre, so Light Goods Vehicle operators must apply in each traffic area they operate in.  The guidance can be accessed here.

The new regulations on LGV’s also means that the provisions for the recognition of holders of acquired rights to fulfil the professional competence requirement now apply for light goods vehicle operators too (click here to view further information), and details the approach that Traffic Commissioners will take when considering appeals against the refusal of the Secretary of State to grant acquired rights for light goods vehicles.  It also gives a general update to the requirements for all transport managers; in particular the requirement for transport managers to be resident in the United Kingdom and introduces a new minimum disqualification period of one year where a transport manager has been found not to be of good repute.

Statutory document number 8 gives clarification to operators of Light Goods Vehicles of the suggested delegations the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) may take when reviewing their operation.  Along with the amendments to the OTC guidance documents, there are the new EU rules, due to come into operation on 21st may 2022 that require operators to have an International operator’s licence if they are to use LGV’s such as vans, vans or cars towing trailers to transport goods for hire or reward into or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.  This will require operators to have a qualified Transport Manager within the business and to have documents to prove that they have access to a set amount of finance to run their business.

You should also be aware of the Cabotage or cross trade rules if you are transporting goods between two points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway for commercial purposes, which require you to make a “posting declaration”.  This means registering the operator, driver, driver employment details, dates of travel and the vehicle used for the journey.  Further details can be found on the government website if you click here.

The inclusion of Light Goods Vehicle’s into the wider regulatory regime has, not surprisingly, lead to widespread changes to the guidance published by the OTC and all operators would be well advised to ensure that they familiarise themselves with how these changes might (or might not) affect their transportation operations.  For further clarification on any of the amendments published this month by the OTC and Department for Transport or for help and advice generally with your transport operations, please contact us on 01279 818280 or click here to send us an email.  Our team of expert Transport Lawyers are here to help.