Hauliers still seeing delays in ADR pass certificate dispatch

Dangerous Goods hauliers have said they are still experiencing delays in obtaining ADR pass certificates, months after CM first highlighted the problem.

Thurrock-based Suckling Transport said the system was “grinding to a halt” and its drivers were unable to work, despite passing their exams as far back as November.

However, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), which administers the courses and dispatches ADR photo cards, claimed it was unaware of any issues.

Suckling MD Peter Larner said the SQA should provide hauliers with certificates within six weeks of their drivers passing the exams, but added: “This isn’t happening. Only this week, we had two drivers whose ADR cards expired and [they] could not work.

"I recognise that some of the delays are due to training providers not passing the necessary information to SQA, but the situation has deteriorated to an unacceptable level.”

Nick Deal, logistics manager at the Road Haulage Association, described the problem as “an
absolute disaster from a company’s point of view”.

He added: “Sensibly, you need to be taking the exams three months before [the deadline].

“SQA would be the first to admit [it isn’t] doing it as quicklyas it was done before, but it
is doing it within the contracted time by the looks of it.”

Sue Macfarlane, head of specialist awards and services at the SQA, said delays occurred when candidates’ details were submitted inaccurately or were incomplete. “If candidates or employers encounter any such delays, they should first raise their concerns with their training provider, who should then contact SQA,” she said.

“At this moment, we have not been alerted to any such concerns that breach our service level agreements.”

McCulla wins drivers' hours conviction appeal

Northern Ireland haulier McCulla (Ireland) has successfully overturned convictions for drivers’ hours offences by arguing that it provided the driver in question with proper training and induction on tachograph regulations.

In February, we reported that in a Driver and Vehicle Agency prosecution at Omagh Magistrates’ Court, the Lisburn, Co Antrim-based company was fined £100 each for two daily rest offences under the Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) Regu-lations (NI) 1996 and the Road Traffic (NI) Order 1981.

In June 2012, DVA enforcement officers stopped a McCulla artic on the Great Northern Road in Omagh, where they examined tachograph records and discovered two infringements relating to daily rest periods.

On appeal to Omagh County Court last week, McCulla argued under Article 8 of the EU drivers’ hours rules that the driver – who had just started at the business – received proper training and induction from the firm’s driver trainers on tachograph regulations before being sent out on the road.

McCulla also scheduled the driver’s work in such a way that there was no reason for him to have infringed the rules, and disciplined him for the offences, the court heard.