Backhouse Jones Watermark

Senior Traffic Commissioner Updates Statutory Documents

29 September

Senior Traffic Commissioner, Richard Turfitt, has “refreshed and updated” his Statutory Documents – the body of Statutory Guidance and Statutory Directions that explain the way Traffic Commissioners will approach the exercise of their statutory functions for licensing and regulating the operation of commercial vehicles.

Most of the changes have been made to bring the legal position up to date and incorporate recent key Upper Tribunal cases.  The Statutory Documents also now include hyperlinks to improve navigation around the documents and to provide direct access to the Upper Tribunal decisions referred to.

The Main Changes

Some of the most significant changes include:

Statutory Document 0: Introduction

  • Annex 1 summarises the position following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union

Statutory Document 1: Good Repute & Fitness

  • An update to serious offence details around community orders and relevant convictions in line with legislative changes
  • A new paragraph reminding PSV operators of their obligation under Section 20 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 to report to the Secretary of State as soon as practicable, any failure or damage of a nature which has been calculated to affect the safety of occupants of a public service vehicle owned by them or of any persons using the road
  • Significant additions in relation to bridge strikes and collisions with infrastructure with reference to Network Rail guidance (see our article in relation to bridge strikes here) including the following (at paragraph 73):

“when incidences are brought to the attention of a traffic commissioner they will wish to consider the culpability of the operator and transport manager and they may be called to attend a public inquiry. The driver can also expect to be called to a hearing and may face a period of suspension”

Statutory Document 2: Finance

  • The inclusion of a decision on distinction between financial standing and financial resources and expansion of ‘technically available’
  • Further explanation around applications for periods of grace, including starting points

Statutory Document 3: Transport Managers

  • The requirement for transport managers to exercise continuous and effective management further to Article 4
  • The expectation that a transport manager’s TM1 form is uploaded to the operator’s VOL account along with evidence of their qualification and their ‘genuine link’ to the operator
  • Reference to best practice guides including vehicle security, diesel spillages and safety recalls

Other Changes

  • an updated position on driver employment with reference to recent Upper Tribunal decisions
  • references to Upper Tribunal decisions about representations made before a traffic commissioner decides whether to disqualify an operator or transport manager
  • the inclusion of the requirement for unique usage of VOL log-on details
  • guidance on dissolved company rights and restoration to the Companies House register

Statutory Document 6: Vocational Driver Conduct

The most substantial changes have been made to Statutory Document No. 6, which relates to Vocational Driver Conduct (and can be accessed here).  The update to Statutory Document No. 6 follows a consultation on the proposed changes and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner has also published a summary of responses to the consultation.

The changes to Statutory Document No. 6 include (among other things):

  • mutual recognition of driver disqualification between the GB and Republic of Ireland
  • the approach to abusive behaviour towards officials
  • determining cases when drivers fail to attend without notice
  • additional language support for drivers during hearings
  • revised entry points with case examples (for instance route planning and bridge strikes)
  • increased penalties for mobile phone use
  • starting points for military personnel

Statutory Document 13: Small Public Service Vehicle Operations

Statutory Document No. 13, which relates to ‘Small Public Service Vehicle Operations’ has not been updated, as it is currently going through substantial changes and will be consulted on soon.

Statutory Documents

The Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Documents can be accessed here.

Backhouse Jones’ eight-strong team of leading regulatory road transport Solicitors is the largest of its kind and handles more Public Inquiries each year than any other firm.  We are intimately familiar with the expectations of the Traffic Commissioners and use our unrivalled expertise to hand-hold you through every step of your Public Inquiry journey.  Contact our team of expert road transport solicitors on 01254 828 300 or by email at regulatory@backhouses.co.uk

Strategic and measured business solutions providing 20:20 vision for your operation.
Bespoke training for your business DISCOVER TRAINING
24 hour legal cover for a fixed fee DISCOVER UP
A health, safety and risk management solution DISCOVER STEP