FTA describes Hammond’s announcement as ‘sense at last’
A rule forcing mechanics to complete the Driver CPC is to be abolished by the autumn – Roads Minister Stephen Hammond has announced last week.
The first exemption 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 (HGVs) or public service vehicles (PSVs) is not the driver’s main job and the vehicle remains within 50 kilometres 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.
Mr Hammond said: “Making the training compulsory for those who only drive HGVs over short distances – because they are delivering them for repair or testing – is costly and time-consuming. That is why we are making these exemptions which will reduce costs and administration for businesses.”
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. A mechanic who only ever drives large vehicles 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 driver.”
“It is disappointing that this has taken so long to be implemented and has happened at the last minute. While enforcement authorities are unlikely to take specific action against such drivers during the shortfall – which is expected to be a few weeks – drivers and operators still need to consider carefully their responsibilities for making sure drivers behind the wheel are roadlegal. But in the long term, this is an unnecessary burden that the Government has, quite rightly, lifted from industry.”
CPT CEO Simon Posner added: “We are delighted the Government is introducing these additional exemptions having listened to representations made by CPT and the freight trade associations.”