The DfT says it expects the proposed measures “to improve road safety, update the legislation to reflect modern practices and ensure a fairer and more uniform approach for operators”.
Historically, certain heavier vehicles have been exempt from operator licensing and/or periodic roadworthiness testing.
The consultations propose to remove or modify some of the current exemptions, either because of possible non-compliance with EU legislation or to correct anomalies between certain vehicles types that are currently exempt and those that are not.
The current HGV testing scheme provides exemption for 37 classes of vehicle. The DfT is proposing to remove or modify exemptions covering 10 vehicle categories.
With regard to operator licensing, the DfT is considering a modification to number 15 in the current list of exemptions. Vehicles using this exemption operate in direct competition with other non-exempt vehicles and perform the same core function in respect of delivery of goods.
Due to the commonalities between operator licensing exemptions and annual test exemptions, the DfT has decided to run the consultations in tandem. However, all responses will be considered separately.
The consultations will close on 5th March 2015.