Traffic Commissioners’ annual report 20/21 recognises the key achievements of the last year…

  • TrafficThe latest Traffic Commissioners’ annual report published earlier this month reflects on the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of Brexit and provides updates on strategic objectives going forward to 2023 and beyond.

    In the Forward to the report, Richard Turfitt, Senior Traffic Commissioner, said: “This report identifies some of the key achievements during a very difficult year for the transport industry.  Traffic commissioners take responsibility for effective licensing and regulation of the commercial vehicle industries, but the success of any public service relies on the energy and willingness of those at the frontline.”

    Whilst reflecting on the past 12 months, the report is very future focused, not wanting to lose some of the excellent initiatives that were adopted during the pandemic and instead, looking to make them a normal part of daily business.

    The main areas discussed in the report, which we were glad to see, include.

    • Business recovery
    • Supporting compliant businesses and
    • Better targeted regulation

    The report also contains statistics describing the licensing and regulatory activities including,

    • 14,080 operator licence applications and variations processed
    • 1,054 public inquiries determined
    • 78 preliminary hearings held and
    • 10,442 vocational driver cases closed.

    An important part of the report for us reflects on driver shortages, something that is severely impacting the logistics industry at present – read our blog Shortages of Labour in the Logistics Industry 2021, to find out more on this.

    The Road Haulage Association (RHA) suggests the shortfall in drivers currently stands at 100,000, so it is great to see the new objectives looking to tackle this, which are also outlined in the report, ‘To deliver a modern and effective operator licensing regime that ensures operators are fit to hold a licence whilst minimising the regulatory burden on the compliant.’

    In more detail, the objectives look to develop what we consider to already be a safe road transport industry, but one which focuses on compliance, fair competition and – importantly in today’s polluted world – one that protects the environment.

    Moreover, legislative changes will seek out opportunities within the licensing system for reform, which will contribute towards removing the cost of entry to the transport industry, whilst also preparing for future means of transport, such as autonomous and electric vehicles.

    In addition to the Traffic Commissioners’ Annual Report, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a consultation on proposals to tackle the shortage of (HGV) drivers. The consultation focuses on proposed changes to some of the requirements to obtain a vocational driving licence.

    The procedures being consulted on include:

    • Allowing drivers to take one test to drive both a rigid and articulated lorry, rather than having to pass a test in a rigid lorry first, and then another in an articulated lorry.
    • Allowing drivers who want to use a bus or coach to tow a trailer to take one test with a trailer, rather than having to pass a test without a trailer first.
    • Allowing the off-road manoeuvres part of the test to be assessed by the driver training industry.
    • Allowing car drivers to tow a trailer without having to take another test.

    We are keen to learn the outcome of this consultation, as this will have a hugely positive impact on the logistics industry.

    Masters Logistical is fortunate to have a solid, long-standing relationship with our regular drivers and our Driver Agency, and have therefore been able to retain our reliable service throughout the pandemic, Brexit and the boom in e-commerce.

    Here at Masters, we have long felt that the logistics industry is central to the UK economy – it is positive that this intrinsic role is being recognised across all sectors.

    If you are interested in a logistics partner who delivers on time, in full get in touch today to find out how we do the ordinary, extraordinarily well.

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