A rule forcing mechanics to pay for professional driver training is to be abolished saving £29m, Roads minister Stephen Hammond has announced.
Two exemptions, made following a consultation, will be implemented this Autumn.
The first benefits both mechanics and valets delivering vehicles. It applies as long as no goods or passengers are being carried, the vehicle is not being used for hire or reward, driving heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles is not the driver’s main job and the vehicle remains within 50km of the driver’s base.
The second exemption benefits mechanics – it applies as long as the vehicle is being driven to an official test at a VOSA or authorised testing facility.
The Freight Transport Association, which has been campaigning for the change, said it was “a bit late, but the right decision in the end”.
James Firth, FTA head of road freight and enforcement policy, said: “At last, a common sense decision by the government. FTA has long been calling for this exemption to be introduced.
“Professional lorry drivers have to work within a plethora of rules aimed at improving road safety, and it’s right that those driving for a living every day have access to continuous refresher training. But a mechanic who only ever drives HGVs on a public road to test them or take them for their statutory annual test, should not need to take the same refresher training as a professional, full time lorry driver.”