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Cautious welcome for Vosa and DSA merger

  • 01 July 2013
  • By Chris Druce

Trade associations have given a cautious welcome to the news that Vosa and the DSA are to merge into a single government agency, but have warned that with greater power will come the need for greater transparency.

Following the news last week that from 2014 the agencies will merge into an as yet unnamed super agency run by current Vosa chief executive Alastair Peoples, both the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Freight Transport Association (FTA) have said that a merger makes sense operationally.

“There are obvious synergies,” said Jack Semple, head of policy at the RHA. “This will further strengthen Vosa’s position in terms of enforcing and regulating standards in the haulage industry. [However] the increased responsibility and powers of Vosa makes maintaining transparency and accountability all the more important.”

Karen Dee, FTA director of policy, said: “We can certainly see some potential in merging Vosa and the DSA. What we can’t see at the moment is how it’s going to be done and we will obviously be looking for the detail to make sure the needs of operators remain a high priority for the new agency.”

Peter Gates, MD of Welwyn Garden City-based PW Gates, submitted a response to the Department for Transport’s motoring services strategy consultation, of which the merger is a consequence.

He said: “I hope that the move saves money without reducing service levels. I’m all for joined-up government rather than the usual collection of separate departments all doing their own thing and causing confusion to the ‘customers’, as we are called nowadays.”

However, echoing senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell’s recent comments, Semple added that Vosa’s effective enlargement should be treated

in isolation to its enforcement activity, an area where the RHA has concerns, and has called for more evidence as to whether the agency is truly bringing the serially non-compliant to book.

DSA chief executive Rosemary Thew will leave her job at the end of the month as part of the merger.


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