April Issue 35 - Flipbook - Page 26
AUTHORISED TESTING FACILITY OPERA
By Steve Smith, ATFOA Chair
It’s been some time since we last
communicated with you. It’s not
because we’ve been quiet, because
Following our landmark victory in the
house of Lords in the summer of 2020,
where master tactician Lord Attlee
(who was fighting in ATFOA’s corner)
played a blinder and forced the
government’s hand to hold a ‘Heavy
Vehicle Testing Review.’ The ‘Review’
lasted a few months over regular
online meetings with ATFOA and the
other stakeholders participating.
As the main attraction was ‘off the
menu’ from the get go, the process, in
The Review has been in draft for a few our opinion, was no longer a ‘Review’
weeks and has since been whizzed at all. It resembled a DVSA internal
through Whitehall (to cleanse and appraisal.
ratify, no doubt) and we have now
received a summary letter from DfT had given up the opportunity of
Baroness Vere of DfT and the full the decade to take the small risk and
report on the government’s website. steer their ship towards the edge
of the earth in the hope of finding a
“Unlike the rest of us, DVSA and land of great opportunity and benefit
government still think the earth is from a reliable, flexible, customer
flat when it comes to testing”
focussed, efficient alternative for the
future of testing.
When the ‘Review’ was first
announced we were ecstatic, we It’s not even much of a risk, it’s not
really thought we had won a victory like we’re the first to go over the
for the instigation of a road map for edge. Government decided not to get
delegated testing, but as soon as physically involved with testing cars
I had sat back down in my seat, an (class IV), now the industry does it.
old cynical hack was on the phone
teasing me that the process had been The arguments about HGV’s being
negotiated to keep us quiet and the heavier, therefore more dangerous
‘Review’ would be a whitewash.
doesn’t work when you consider the
government has no consideration
Looking back, whitewash is perhaps to get involved with testing planes,
because trains, large electromechanical plant,
DfT refused to include plausible cranes, lifts and even generators so
alternatives, such as delegated why are HGV’s treated different? It’s
testing, to be debated in the ‘Review’ difficult to see their logic on this one
process. This directive was hugely and when you ask them they struggle
disappointing, as we all know that the to answer it.
only real solution for the inadequacy
of DVSA’s delivery of testers to site Omitting delegated testing from The
would be to remove them from this Heavy Vehicle Testing Review was
historically painful responsibility.
like organising a panel to review the
best football players of all time but not
allowing them to discuss the merits
of Pele. It makes the debate rather
pointless unless you’re on the other
side protecting something.
Those of you who have time to
digest the detail, the report can be
downloaded in full here.
“Yes, the industry will be paying
for the improved service”
THE REVIEW IN SUMMARY
The contents of Baroness Vere’s
letter gives us some insight into what
to expect. It is likely that some change
is coming, that said, the oil tanker that
is the government hasn’t even given
the order to turn the rudder yet so we
are a good way off before we even
think about changing course.
There will need to be a public
consultation to understand industry
sentiment and how it reacts to
increases in DVSA statutory testing