Saturday 23 March 2019

Traffic commissioners publish revised statutory guidance

The senior traffic commissioner (STC) of Great Britain, Richard Turfitt, has published revised editions of several of the statutory documents that explain the way in which traffic commissioners (TCs) should exercise their functions as industry regulators, following a consultation process which ended in August.

The revisions include clearer guidance on the process to be followed should someone use another operator’s O-licence without authority (known as ‘fronting’); a sharpened focus on the importance of accurate O-licence applications; new sections on driver employment status and support for tribunal users; and updated guidance on what happens when ‘periods of grace’ (time granted by TCs for an operator to rectify a shortcoming) expire.

STC Turfitt urged transport managers to be proactive in keeping up to date with requirements and ensuring they were fulfilling their roles effectively.

He said that transport managers and other responsible persons should be able to demonstrate to TCs that they are able to meet their statutory responsibilities through professional development.

This was particularly important, he added, for those who had not been acting as an operator in the past five years, whose qualification was more than ten years old, or whose ability to exercise continuous and effective management was under consideration at public inquiry.

“It is important that we get the balance right, so that irresponsible people, who ignore the safety of other road users, do not put compliant businesses at a disadvantage,” said STC Turfitt in a press statement.

“These documents demonstrate our commitment to transparency in the way we make our decisions.

“On this occasion, the majority of changes are dictated by the case law rather than a debate on policy. There is a heavy emphasis on providing continuity but the [consultation] responses received have helped us to try and clarify our approach to regulation.”

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