New Statutory Guidance from the Senior Traffic Commissioner

The Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain has published new Statutory Guidance, which takes effect from the 1st of January 2016.

The Traffic Commissioners are responsible for regulation and safety of the road haulage industry, and sit in a judicial capacity at Public Inquiries and Driver Conduct Hearings.  The Senior Traffic Commissioner oversees the Traffic Commissioners and, together with them, drafts and issues guidance intended to regulate their procedures, the industry, and assist with appeals.

In recent years, the Senior Traffic Commissioner has had objectives of reducing the burden on compliant operators, targeting those who put road safety at risk and achieving more consistent outcomes when dealing with the conduct of professional drivers.  The new Statutory Guidance reflects these objectives.

Operators and Transport Managers will be familiar with the old Guidance.  The new Guidance is detailed, and useful.  The most important changes are these:

  • There will be a streamlined process for direct transport manager replacements and additional nominations
  • There will now be a role description for transport managers and what they are expected to do
  • There is a new approach to transport manager working hours, about which I have previously written here
  • Traffic commissioner staff in Leeds will be able to take more decisions on behalf of the TCs – I have also previously written about this in the same blog.
  • There is to be quicker decision making, communications and greater guidance for dealing with incomplete applications
  • Less serious cases will be taken out of public inquiry listings, meaning that tribunal resources are targeted at the serially non compliant
  • There is also new guidance on driver conduct, including case studies which operators can use to train and educate employees

This is all good news for compliant and responsible operators and drivers.  Those considered not to be compliant can expect to be targeted more directly by both the DVSC and Traffic Commissioners.

For more information on all road haulage matters, email, or call 0121 201 3765.

Regan Peggs
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