FTA, the business organisation representing the logistics sector, is angry that its members have been left in the dark by government for the second month in a row, as they await an announcement on how HGV MOT testing will be conducted from July onwards.
James Firth, FTA’s head of road freight regulation, has expressed dismay that businesses are still uncertain as to whether or not the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will be conducting annual vehicle tests by the end of June.
“With just 13 days to go before bookable MOT test appointments would need to be available from DVSA, we are concerned that more exemption certificates will need to be issued,” he says, “resulting in some trucks operating for 18 months since their last MOT. In addition, operators are concerned about whether or not DVSA will have sufficient testing resource available to return to full volume testing in the near future.
“Businesses need to be able to plan and schedule vehicle tests and Authorised Testing Facilities (private sector facilities used by DVSA) need to take bookings. For vehicles due their test in June, the announcement that they would be given an exemption certificate was made on 28 May. The uncertainty caused by these month-by-month last minute announcements is a pressure that freight businesses could do without while they are focused on keeping the economy running during the coronavirus crisis ”
FTA members remain confused why DVSA examiners have not yet been sent back to work when businesses across the country, by following Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) guidelines, have been operating for some time.
DVSA withdrew its Vehicle Standards Assessors from testing facilities overnight on 18 March and started issuing three-month exemption certificates to vehicles from 24 March. “FTA has offered Government many suggestions for how safety tests could be resumed but exactly three months since the tests were stopped so abruptly, there still doesn’t seem to be a plan and this is hindering our ability to help the nation get back to work.”
FTA is meeting with Transport Minister Baroness Vere on Friday in the hope that industry can be given some degree of certainty as it supports the economic recovery into the summer.
FTA is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit www.fta.co.uk.