Independent specialist regulators, the Traffic Commissioners of Great Britain, have launched a consultation regarding possible changes in how the law is applied, specifically when it comes to commercial fleet regulation. They have responsibility for regulating and licensing any operators of commercial vehicles, and they regulate the professional code of conduct for drivers of trucks, coaches and buses.
The statutory document comprises directions and guidance issued by the senior traffic Commissioner ruling on how the law should be applied by traffic commissioners in order to create a fair and balanced approach when it comes to exercising their regulatory powers. This statutory document is used by a wide range of people in the industry, including transport managers, operators, drivers and other representatives.
The consultation has been created to get opinions on the changes being proposed, and these include the consistent calculation of financial transactions and the requirement of financial evidence to ensure a fair and consistent approach to applicants seeking a commercial operator's license.
There is also a suggestion that regular reminders are created for transport managers and operators of the regime. Currently, it is only discussed at the time they apply for their license, but it is felt that ongoing reminders of the statutory directions and guidance should be introduced. It also looks at traffic commissioners and the approach they take when they need to consider any action for breaches of regulation.
How the Feedback will be Used
The consultation period runs until the 16th of January 2023, at which point the feedback will be collated and used. Initial feedback suggests that applications from transport managers need to be assessed differently, with more emphasis placed on effective management and continuity when it comes to assessing capacity and less emphasis on other issues like travel time. If you would like to take part in the survey, it can be found on the gov.uk website.
The current traffic Commissioner for Great Britain is Richard Turfitt, and in the foreword for the survey, he explains: ‘The Statutory Documents are published to explain how the traffic commissioners work to deliver consistent and fair regulation of the transport industry and represents our efforts to modernise the licensing regime. For this consultation, we have reviewed and made changes to a number of Statutory Documents to provide clearer guidance and to continue our aim for improved transparency in the way we come to our decisions. Many of the amendments recognise changes in the law and decisions made by the Upper Tribunal. In order to help us in revising the documents, we would like to hear from the industry and its representatives. We invite you to offer your thoughts and contributions to the changes we are considering making.