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Authorised testing facility number 350 opened in Bridgwater, Somerset.

  • 26 July 2013
  • By Robin Meczes

Vosa has marked the opening of the 350th authorised testing facility (ATF) at Morrisons’ regional distribution centre in Bridgwater, Somerset.

Vosa chief executive Alastair Peoples described the opening of the 350th site as “another milestone in the transformation of bus, coach and truck testing”. 

Morrisons engineering manager Robert Ward said it would “enable DHL/Morrisons to reduce dead mileage, fuel usage and unproductive workshop hours” as well as providing “the opportunity to facilitate external third party MOT testing”.

A Vosa spokesman told CM the Morrisons ATF would run one test lane for one day every two weeks, but that it intended to build up to two days a week in time.

Just 45 full-time Vosa test stations now remain in operation, compared to 96 before the agency began its testing transformation programme, confirmed the spokesman.

He also confirmed the agency felt it had sufficient test staff in place to cover all current and future ATF requirements, despite the concerns raised recently by the Transport Select Committee  that said the fast pace of ATF roll-out had left it worried about Vosa’s ability to provide enough testing staff.

Paul Glover, ATF manager for Stan Robinson and secretary of the ATF Operators Association, told CM that despite Vosa’s assurances, he still knew of ATFs that could not secure the testing staff they wanted.

“Some of our members are requesting more days and being told they can’t have them until next year. It’s a manpower issue,” said. “But people sign up because as an ATF, you’re supposed to be guaranteed the manpower. It’s holding their businesses up.”


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