Testing Times: hauliers travelling further to test vehicles

Not everyone is thrilled by closures of goods vehicle testing stations in favour of ATFs, with some operators complaining they are now having to travel much further.

Following part one's look at the consequences of ATF closures in rural areas, another haulier explains the affect DVSA’s testing transformation programme (TTP) is having on him.

Keith Byrne, director at Elite Vehicle Logistics in Eastbourne, says he is increasingly having to rely on an ATF 70 miles away in Guildford, rather than a testing station 50 miles nearer in Hastings.

“We have got a truck with a GV9 and [in mid-May] we were told it would be 22 July before it was seen,” he says. “It was the only available date.”

 “The dealer fixed it in 15 minutes and now I can’t use it until the prohibition is lifted. So, a truck is parked up, which we can’t use because of the GV9.”

Prior to TTP, Byrne says he could get a vehicle tested within a maximum of four weeks, and you could often rely on a cancellation and be seen sooner. “But there’s no such thing as getting a cancellation anymore,” he adds.

“You have got the extra diesel bill and it’s two hours down the road and a driver and a truck lost for the day. And if it doesn’t pass you have got to go again, which is another two hours there and back.”

Haulier John English says an ATF in Daventry recently gave him two months’ notice for an annual test, but he was able to rely on a Norbert Dentressangle station in Northampton instead, which could carry out a test much quicker.

“One of the problems is that not all stations are listed on the DVSA website, so it’s a question of ‘who you know’,” he says. “I’m not happy to travel more than a few miles, but I’m based at Crick so maybe I have more choice.”

HGVs involved in serious M25 crash

A collision involving at least three HGV vehicles led to a partial closure of the M25 this afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the accident, alleged to have involved three trucks and possibly a tanker, just after 2pm this afternoon. The road was closed between junctions 21a and 23 for a period of time, during which an air ambulance arrived on the scene.

A newspaper local to the crash site reported that two people were cut from their vehicles and that a third was taken to hospital.

A statement from Highways England said: "Our Traffic Officers as well as Hertfordshire police were deployed to the scene and quickly established that the incident was indeed serious.

We quickly established a sterile area and turned drivers trapped between the incident and junction around to continue their journey."

Other details of the incident are unknown to CM at this time.

Photo by @robpage92