Mineral Products Association urges action on volumetric concrete mixer regulation

volumetric concrete mixer

 

The Mineral Products Association has renewed its call for volumetric concrete mixers to be brought into the O-licensing regime, almost three years since a consultation into the matter closed.

Volumetric mixers are currently classified as “engineering plant” by the DfT, meaning their operators do not require an O-licence; do not have to put them through regular roadworthiness tests; and do not have to comply with HGV weight limits.

In contrast, HGV concrete mixers are fully regulated under the O-licence system.

Following the outcome of a consultation that closed in 2015, the DfT proposed that operators of volumetric concrete mixers will be required to hold an O-licence, but to date there has been no commitment on timing. It also suggested that they should be subject to annual roadworthiness testing.

It proposed that volumetric concrete mixers should be allowed to operate at weights 20% higher than HGV limits until 2032.

Jerry McLaughlin, the Mineral Product Association’s director of economics and public affairs, described the lack of regulation as a “significant historic regulatory failure”.

He said: “Everyone knows that most volumetric concrete mixers are HGVs using a legal loophole to avoid reasonable regulation.

“At a time when much of the construction industry and responsible HGV operators are taking concerted action to improve road safety, notably for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, government has not applied safety critical HGV rules to a growing number of unregulated volumetric concrete mixers on our roads.”

A DfT spokeswoman said a decision on the matter is expected soon, but could not give a firm indication of timing.