Traffic Commissioners' latest updates | May 2021

Read our April/May 2021 updates below

Credit: for use of some images

Covid-19 temporary guidance

On 7 May, the Senior Traffic Commissioner (STC) revised the temporary guidance issued to goods and passenger carrying industries in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Period of Grace to maintain vehicles in line with the stated intervals ended on 6 May and there was an update to bus service registration. In his introduction, the STC said: “The current situation continues to evolve and changes in restrictions will mean that the guidance will also change as the position becomes clearer. Please note that some measures were only appropriate for a limited time and have now been removed.” Read the Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for heavy goods (HGV) and public service vehicle (PSV) operators guidance for more information.

Professional Competence

The Traffic commissioners: transport managers guidance that sets out the requirements for satisfying professional competence (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence - CPC) in section 59 was updated on 7 May:

‘The statutory duty refers to effective management and the traffic commissioner might legitimately be concerned as to the currency of the nominated CPC holder’s professional knowledge. The Senior Traffic Commissioner does not consider it unreasonable for CPC holders to be aware of the conditions and undertakings attached to the operator’s licence upon which they are named nor, given the potential impact on an operator’s repute, to be aware of the most serious infringement provisions. In those circumstances it may be appropriate to consider an undertaking that refresher training provided by a trade association, professional body or an examination centre (approved by an awarding body) which offers the management CPC qualification be completed within a specified time with evidence of attendance to be produced.’

This clarifies that Transport Managers are expected to know:

  • The promises the operator gave when the licence was granted (and be aware of any later undertakings/conditions)

  • Understand what a 'Most Serious Infringement' (or 'MSI') is and what it might mean for the operator if they fall foul of this

If you don’t know - you need to go on a course and ask the questions!

Read the revised May 2021 Statutory Guidance here.

There were also some amendments to the Traffic Commissioners’ approach to legislative requirements that included updates to driver actions for case workers and positive features for regulatory action which you can find here:

Traffic commissioners: the principles of decision making and the concept of proportionality.

Public Inquiries: the stats at 22 April 2021

Source: Public inquiries: timeliness of case listings

Many operators and applicants reported delays in licence processing requests during the pandemic. This data has been published along with the volume of cases listed for public inquiry within 12 weeks (target 95%). You can see from the table above that the usual listing rate of over 95% dropped to just over 75% last year. We hope that as the restrictions ease over the coming months (and case workers return to the office) those processing times will return to more acceptable levels.

Read the Public inquiries: timeliness of case listings before the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain.

VOL application processing times published 22 April

For those of you who would like to see how the processing times for goods and public service vehicle operator licence applications have increased during the pandemic, take a look at the data here.

International road haulage update

On 20 April, the guidance on what UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage was updated to confirm that you no longer need a Kent Access Permit (KAP) to enter Kent.

Complaints procedure

For more information on how to complain about traffic commissioners and operator licensing matters read the complaints procedure. This will also signpost you to the right organisation to deal with your complaint efficiently.


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