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Traffic Commissioners are ‘stretched to breaking point’

  • 14 July 2014
  • By Ashleigh Wight

Senior traffic commissioner (TC) Beverley Bell has said the resources available to TCs are “often stretched to breaking point” and claimed that she and her colleagues are relying more on their deputies to assist them with licencing and regulation.

In the TCs’ annual reports for 2013-14, Bell said there are “not enough hours in the day or days in the week” for the TCs to carry out their duties. She also claimed central and regional offices are increasingly having to rely on agency staff, which she believes creates a lack of continuity and understanding of complex cases.

“I know that I speak for all TCs when I say that resources are often stretched to breaking point, there is insufficient resilience and we are too often reliant on agency staff, in both the short and long term,” said Bell.

Bell described recruitment procedures as “protracted and far too cumbersome” and has sought to find out how income from licensing fees is being spent on resources. However, this is far from resolved, she said.

The TCs are working more closely with the Department for Transport and said signing an agreement with the DVSA has made working practices quicker and easier.

“This joint approach is vital if we are to frustrate illegal activity as well as keeping CVs, their drivers and the roads of Britain safe,” Bell said.

The report also revealed the number of O-licences in issue dropped 4% to 77,732 in 2013-14 compared with the previous year. Of these, the number of restricted licences fell to 41,121 from 42,382; standard national licences dropped from 30,196 to 28,563; and standard international licences fell from 8,316 to 8,048.

The total number of HGVs specified on O-licences increased slightly from 334,262 to 337,570. The largest increase came
from restricted O-licence holders, whose total vehicle parc rose to 94,422 from 91,996 in 2012-13.


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