A report has forced the Government to back down over its assertion that a Driver CPC qualification was required to take trucks and buses for annual test. The Government has also exempted mechanics and valets who are delivering or collecting empty vehicles, providing the vehicle remains within 50 km of the driver’s base, and driving LGV or PCV vehicles is not the driver’s main job.
Last year revealed that VOSA would require drivers presenting vehicles and trailers for test at its stations and privately-run ATFs to produce Driver CPC cards.
Announcing the changes, roads minister Stephen Hammond claimed that the rule change will exempt around 76,000 drivers from the Driver CPC training, which the Department for Transport said will save British business £29 million a year.
The Government will also be re-issuing guidance shortly to clarify the situation for drivers with grandfather rights minibus entitlements, to enable them to progress straight to the periodic training element of Driver CPC. This will considerably cut burdens on this small group. So where driving requires CPC, D1 (NFHR) and D (NFHR) licence entitlement holders will now be able to progress straight to the CPC periodic training requirement of 35 hours training per 5 years, rather than needing to take the initial licence acquisition and CPC test as well.
James Firth, the Freight Transport Association’s head of road freight and enforcement policy, pointed out that there was not time to change the legislation ahead of this September’s deadline for PCV drivers.
“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 road-legal. But in the long term, this is an unnecessary burden that the Government has, quite rightly, lifted from industry,“ he said
Lighthouse Safety Comments: It is very frustrating that the requirement for Driver CPC has been a long time coming and yet people are still slow to react. It is not going away. It would seem that this change needed to happen but why last minute? We are glad that mechanics and testers etc. are exempt but in all honestly some of what has been realised will cast more doubt over who does and who does not need the CPC requirement. The guidance from the government cannot come quick enough