Updated: May 30, 2018
Back in 2014 (and then 2017) the government consulted on the exemptions from operator licensing, looking specifically at those exemptions which covered; vehicles fitted with plant that also carry goods; recovery vehicles; mobile cranes; showman’s vehicles and electric vehicles. The government responses to those consultations have now been published.
i) Vehicles Fitted with Plant that also Carry Goods
It should be no surprise that the exemption for ‘Vehicles fitted with a machine, appliance, apparatus or contrivance…’ has been amended. The requirement that ‘the only goods to be carried should be for use in connection with the machine, appliance, apparatus or other contrivance or the running of the vehicle’ has been removed. It is expected that the major effect this will have will be to bring Mobile Concrete Batching Plant vehicles (MCBPs or Volumetric mixers) into scope of operator licensing. The Department for Transport have stressed that there will be no changes to the exemptions for vehicles fitted with plant that is used for the treatment of grain, the production of animal fodder and road cleaning.
ii) Recovery Vehicles, Mobile Cranes & Showman’s Vehicles
The next three vehicle type exemptions in the list above (i.e recovery vehicles, mobile cranes and showman’s vehicles), have all escaped removal or any modifications and the vehicles covered by these exemptions will therefore remain out of scope of operator licensing.
iii) Electric Vehicles
The remaining exemption that has been subject to these consultations and that has not escaped unscathed is that of the Electric Vehicles or to be more precise ‘electrically propelled vehicles’. This exemption dates to a time when more than 90% of electrically propelled vehicles on the road were milk floats (how times have changed!).
Following the limited responses to both the 2014 and 2017 consultation on electric vehicles the Government has decided that the current exemption for all electrically propelled vehicles will be removed except for those vehicles first registered before 1st March 2015. The Government have also said that a new exemption will be introduced for alternatively fuelled vehicles with Maximum Authorised Mass of up to 4.25 tonnes.
There is a further issue affecting Volumetric mixers (MCBPs) that is addressed in the published response for the operator licensing exemption consultations and that is the ‘operating weights’ of these vehicles. Look out for this in our blog next month!