The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) have joined forces in voicing their concern at the recent advice issued by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The advice relates to garage technicians and mechanics driving heavy goods vehicles to statutory annual tests being considered in-scope of the Driver CPC Directive (2003/59/EC).
In a joint letter to Transport Minister Hammond, they said that according to industry estimates there are more than 30,000 technicians in the UK, and added that although they were aware that a few companies have taken the decision to include these employees in their DCPC training programmes, they believed that the vast majority have not.
They added that for all of them to achieve full compliance for their staff in just over one year would be a massive undertaking, which will cost the industry and will deliver relatively little benefit to the freight industry.
They are calling on the Hammond to consider their points, and requested the opportunity to discuss the matter with him in further detail.
In representing their members on this subject, both associations reinforced their concerns, saying that they feel that the Directive was never intended to include such activity, and referring the Minister to the title of the Directive 2003/59/EC and the frequent references within the recital which refer to “the profession of driver”.
Theo de Pencier, FTA Chief Executive said: “FTA feels strongly that the recent advice issued by the DfT represents an unreasonable reading of the Directive which we believe will put undue burden on our members and all businesses within the logistics sector.
“It also appears to run contrary to the department’s stated aim – presented in the Logistics Growth Review and the Red Tape Challenge – to reduce the regulatory burdens placed on industry.”
Geoff Dunning, RHA Chief Executive added: “RHA doesn’t think that the Directive was ever intended to include the same restrictions on technicians and mechanics carrying out these activities, and the frequent reference to 'the profession of driver' in the recital confirms to us that technicians, who are neither professional drivers nor engaged in the carriage of goods, were not who the Commission had in mind when developing these requirements.”