A consultation on plans to amend statutory guidance closing a loophole that enables hauliers to ‘draw down’ HGVs not specified on an O-licence will end next week.
The move was prompted by a recent decision in the upper tribunal concerning a company swapping vehicles on and off its licence.
Connor Construction “was routinely and as a business practice, using more vehicles in the operation of its business than it was seemingly authorised to do under the licence, but was using the VOL system to swap vehicles on and off the licence”, according to the tribunal.
It said this ran counter to core principles of the legislation, such as the requirement for finance and for maintenance and for a sufficient operating centre.
As a result, senior traffic commissioner (TC) Richard Turfitt has amended statutory guidance to reflect the tribunal’s concerns:
“The number of vehicles applied for should include the number required for use, as well as any extra to cover an increase in business or emergencies such as breakdowns,” said the draft amendment.
The consultation is also asking for feedback on changes to the way in which transport manager applications are assessed; the taking of evidence from outside the UK; and ensuring financial calculations are conducted consistently to ensure fairness to all O-licence applicants.
The public consultation ends on 16 January.