Senior TC sets out what is expected of a transport manager

Senior traffic commissioner (TC) Beverley Bell has for the first time outlined the responsibilities the TCs expect transport managers to have and the number of hours they should work every week.

In the revised Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Guidance, which was published today (14 December) and will take effect on 1 January 2016, the TC highlighted the activities a transport manager may be expected to carry out.

These include managing, auditing and reviewing compliance systems; reviewing prohibitions or annual test failures; notifying the TC of any changes; and keeping up to date on changes in legislation.

The document also suggested what TCs expect as a starting point in terms of hours worked by a transport manager, which range from two to four hours a week for a fleet of two vehicles or fewer, to full time with additional assistance for operations running more than 50 trucks.

The guidance also sets out the level of financial standing required from 1 January 2016. This has fallen from £7,000 to £6,650 for the first vehicle, and from £3,900 to £3,700 for each additional vehicle for standard O-licence holders. Financial standing rates for restricted O-licence holders remain the same (£3,100 and £1,700 respectively).

From January the TCs will also be able to delegate more work to their staff, including the ability to grant applications made by companies that have committed certain road traffic offences, excluding drivers’ hours and weights and dimensions offences; and adding or removing undertakings.

Decisions to hold a public inquiry, review an operating centre or grant a period of grace will, among others, remain with the TC.

Senior TC Bell said: “The changes to the statutory documents are designed to streamline processes, extend delegation to our staff and give better guidance so that decisions can be made more quickly.

"These changes will help to deliver a more efficient and effective licensing regime for compliant operators.”

60-second interview: Simon Buckle, plant body sales manager, Andover Trailers

60-second interview: Simon Buckle, plant body sales manager, Andover Trailers

Favourite holiday destination and why?

Cornwall, out of season. I love walking the dogs on deserted beaches, followed by a pub lunch.

What car do you drive?
Nissan Navara Tekna

Hobbies?
Motorcycling - that could be a passion.

How did you get into the industry and why?
I secured an apprenticeship with Locomotors, a specialist bodybuilder, when I was 16. I quickly found that designing commercial vehicles to meet specific requirements gets into your blood.

How would you encourage more young people into the industry?
There is always going to be a future. Whatever innovations arrive have to be delivered at the end of the day. Choosing which sector of transport to work in is the tricky bit.

What is the outlook for your sector of the market over the next 12 months?
I believe there will be a continued growth in the market, with the demand for specialist vehicles growing as customers need to make every vehicle as versatile and economic as possible in order to stay competitive in their field.