Following campaigning from Logistics UK (formerly FTA), the government has confirmed (Friday 31 July) that the safest goods vehicles will be exempt from HGV tests for up to 12 months to help clear the backlog after testing services were stopped by DVSA during the coronavirus crisis, as James Firth, Head of Road Freight Regulation at Logistics UK explains:
“The government’s decision to listen to the advice of Logistics UK and grant longer HGV testing exemptions to the lowest risk vehicles – those categorised as ‘upper green’, with Earned Recognition (ER), or vehicles under two years old – will ensure that all critical logistics vehicles can remain on our roads delivering the essential goods and services the nation needs, without delay. Adopting this approach is the safest and most efficient way for DVSA to manage the significant backlog of HGV tests that have built up during the pandemic; new vehicles or those with ER or ‘upper green’ status have already proven they operate to the highest standards of safety and roadworthiness. Without this approach, we feared that DVSA would not be able to meet the backlog demand, meaning either vehicles would be parked up and would not be able to deliver the logistics services businesses and consumers require, or further blanket exemptions would need to have been issued irrespective of a vehicle’s road safety history.
“However, it is likely that the decision to only provide ‘upper green’ vehicles with exemptions will cause confusion among our members who have worked hard to meet the rigorous ‘green’ standard and felt that by that definition, they were proven to be running safe, efficient and reliable fleets.”