In mid-December Beverley Bell, senior traffic commissioner for the UK, published revised guidance on operator licensing. The revised documents were introduced to “reduce the burden” on compliant operators, and target those who compromise road safety.
The updated documents incorporated a number of changes, including a streamlined process for direct transport manager replacements and additional nominations, as well as a role description for transport managers and what they are expected to do. The revised documents also include a new approach to transport manager working hours.
Other changes included the following:
- Extended delegations so that traffic commissioner staff can take more decisions on behalf of the TCs
- Quicker decision making, communications and greater guidance for dealing with incomplete applications
- Processes to take less serious cases out of public inquiry listings, meaning that tribunal resources are targeted at the serially non compliant
- New guidance on driver conduct, including case studies which operators can use to train and educate employees
“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,” said Bell. “These changes will help to deliver a more efficient and effective licensing regime for compliant operators.”
Traffic commissioner for the East of England, Richard Turfitt, who led updates in 12 of the documents said: “We value the input of industry stakeholders. They recognise that we have looked at areas of the licensing regime, within the constraints of legislation, to make improvements that give us the time – alongside effective procedures – to hold the serious offenders to account. Better regulation can only lead to better compliance.”