A report in a recent Motor Transport Executive Brief looked closely at a proposed review of the function of the UK’s traffic commissioners (TCs), noting that the review considers replacing TCs with a single independent tribunal body headed up by a statutory president. From Dawsongroup truck and trailer customers’ point of view, any decision, whenever it’s enacted, will certainly not change the close focus on compliance and vehicle operating standards. Far from it. The focus will get even sharper and the consequences for non-compliance even tougher.
The Department for Transport’s (DfT) report into the work of the TCs also proposed overhauling the current fee structure in order that its operating deficit is removed and enabling it to be fully funded through the fees it charges.
The recommendations, which would have a significant impact on the way the TCs currently operate, followed a public consultation into their function.
It suggested the DfT proceeded with an initial change to allow the TCs to make tribunal rules, including cost orders, “With increased powers, the TCs would be better able to manage their hearings which should make them both more effective and more efficient in the longer term,” the report said.
That Motor Transport article carried a line from Chris Powell, principal associate at law firm Weightmans, saying that the proposed recommendations could fundamentally reform the licencing regime and affect all licence holders. “The recommendation for replacing TCs with a single specialist tribunal could mean stronger powers to take action against operators who don’t hit the mark,” he said.
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