The following it taken from an email circular sent out by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.
PI attendees must follow the 14-day quarantine rule when arriving back in the UK from a country that is not on the exemption list.
In the short time since we reintroduced physical attendance at hearings, there have been several worrying incidents where people have arrived at a public inquiry almost immediately after flying back to the UK. This puts everyone’s health at risk and undermines the strict rules the government have put in place.
If you are due to attend a hearing within 14 days of returning to the UK, it’s vital that you check whether your travel destination is exempt from the quarantine rules. The rule can apply to all travel by coach, ferry, train or plane.
The safety of attendees, commissioners remains the main consideration when holding in-person hearings. Our staff have completed thorough risk assessments and have put measures in place to protect the health of all concerned.
Please let OTC staff know as soon as possible if you cannot attend a hearing in person due to the quarantine rules so that attendance by video link can be considered.
Exemptions can be reviewed here.
This annual report tackles issues and provides information on major aspects of hte Traffic Commissioners’ judicial, regulatory & administrative roles.
This year’s report obviously centres around Covid-19, Brexit and our departure from the EU including what this will mean for the Industry.
The report can be read in full here.
The office of the Traffic Commissioners have announced an end to the current maintenance inspection relaxations, which will take effect as of 1st September 2020. The full details can be found here.
The update also includes the following issues:
- An extension of temporary local bus services processes until 4th January 2021
- An increase in the notice period for service variations for Local Authorities from 24 hours to 72 hours in England & Scotland
- Amending a registered local bus service to become a school or work bus service
- The use of additional vehicles on services
The following is taken from an email circulated by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.
The traffic commissioners have started publishing the outcomes of driver conduct hearings online. This follows widespread approval for this information in responses to a consultation in 2019.
As well as the regulatory outcome of the hearing, the information published includes:
- the date of the hearing
- the driver’s name
- the driver’s year of birth
- the first part of the driver’s postcode
Publishing this information will make it easier for operators to find out if a driver has been subject to regulatory action. This will help them to ensure that they do not use drivers who have not declared any action taken by a TC against their vocational entitlement to their employers.
The traffic commissioners have ensured they comply with data protection principles when publishing this data.
Read ‘Regulatory decisions made about the conduct of professional drivers‘
The following is taken from an email circular sent out by the office of the Traffic Commissioners.
The traffic commissioners (TCs) have updated their advice for operators during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The update issued on 23 June 2020 covers:
- an increase in the maximum period of grace for financial standing from 6 months to 12 months
- the return of in-person tribunal hearings from 6 July 2020
- information about requesting temporary variations to local bus services ahead of a return to normal services as lockdown restrictions ease
- virtual training
Read the TCs’ coronavirus advice for operators
The following is taken directly from an email sent out today by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.
The Senior Traffic Commissioner has updated his coronavirus (COVID-19) statutory document originally issued on 17 March 2020.
The update issued on 18 June 2020 includes reference to:
- an increase in the maximum time allowed for a period of grace for financial standing an operator can receive from 6 months to 12 months
- more information about in-person tribunal hearings in England from July 2020 (with hearings in Scotland and Wales likely to start a few weeks later as circumstances allow)
Financial standing periods of grace
The maximum period of grace for financial standing an operator can seek has increased.
Previously, it was a maximum of 6 months with the Senior Traffic Commissioner having set a 4 month starting point. The law has been changed to increase that maximum to 12 months with the STC suggesting an initial 6 month starting point. Any decisions about the grant or length of a period of grace will include an assessment of the risk to road safety.
This extension to the law applies to any determination made between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. This gives operators the opportunity to recover their finances during the extended period following the resumption of normal trading as the lockdown eases.
Tell your TC early if you have problems
You should tell your TC if you are experiencing any issue in meeting the financial standing requirement. The condition on your licence gives you a month to notify changes. The TC is likely to be sympathetic and will seek to assist wherever possible, especially given the difficulties arising from COVID-19.
If you can no longer meet the financial standing requirement you are strongly advised to contact the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at Enquiries@otc.gov.uk for advice.
Anyone who fails to do so can expect a TC to require explanations as to why they failed to comply, and it may result in a finding of loss of good repute.
The traffic commissioners have also published two other documents during the outbreak. We recommend you read them:
As of Monday, 6th Jul 2020; the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain are set to resume in-person hearings, which where formally postponed in March 2020 as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
To read the full details on this, please follow this link.
The following is taken from an email we at TMC Assist are sending out to clients; please take the time to review the information within:
It is important that you take note, the DVSA have now moved to conducting remote compliance audits, these have been previously known as ‘Desk Based Reports’, please see this link.
One of the problems that we have encountered is that these types of assessments are purely based on the documentation you keep as an operator, there is no interaction between the operator and the DVSA examiner, as such, and in my opinion are very clinical. In the past at DVSA inspections and visits, operators have been able to explain how their systems are implemented, this is no longer an option. We have experienced operators believing that they have adequate systems in place but when it came to the DVSA remote audit things were not quite what the operator thought. This has led to further assessments, eventually ending up before the Traffic Commissioner at a Public Inquiry.
It is important that you as an operator can demonstrate that you have full and effective compliance policies and procedures in place, otherwise you will fail a DVSA remote audit.
If you need any help please contact this office and we will offer advice where necessary.
Graham Doughty MA AAE LCGI FIMI FCILT MCSFS MSAE MIRTE MSOE MIHE MInstLM MInstTA
In an open letter, HSE and DfT have reminded businesses of their duties to drivers under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Those regulations require business to provide suitable toilet and hand washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises.
In their letter, HSE and DfT remind businesses which make or receive deliveries that they must ensure that drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities.
The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain welcome this letter. Britain’s delivery drivers do vital work and their health must be protected.
Traffic commissioners can consider any breaches of relevant health and safety legislation when taking regulatory action against an operator.
We encourage all operators to read the letter and the guidance it accompanies.
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Office of the Traffic Commissioners have released guidance on how to submit remote compliance audits.
This guidance, and other information can be found at this link.