The traffic commissioners (TCs) have announced that the temporary local bus service processes will apply until 4 January 2021. This is covered in the latest updated to their advice for operators during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The commissioners have introduced this change to allow bus operators opportunity to consider any permanent changes that may be required.
Another change included in the update is an increase in the notice period for service variations for Local Authorities from 24 hours to 72 hours in England and Scotland. This change took effect in Scotland on 29 June 2020 and will take effect from 3 August 2020 in England.
The update issued on 30 July 2020 also covers:
amending a registered local bus service to become a school or works bus service
the use of additional vehicles on services
an end to PMI interval relaxations from 1 September 2020
Read more about the latest updated to the traffic commissioners’ COVID-19 advice for operators
The subject of tyres has been discussed many times before but this was released by the DVSA on Wednesday. Therefore, please ensure that the checking of tyres (front’s especially for this announcement), on your own fleet is carried out by either your drivers, tyre contractors or workshops. Please don’t get caught out!!
The Department for Transport announced yesterday (15 July) that tyres aged 10 years or older will be banned on the front axles of lorries, buses and coaches using new laws.
DVSA already checks for tyres over 10 years old during roadside enforcement stops. This change in the law will allow us to issue stronger penalties if found at roadside enforcement checks. This change also means the issue can be covered by the annual test (MOT) in the future.
Next steps The DVSA will update you with more information ahead of the change in the law being introduced.
At Transolva Ltd we are always trying to keep you informed of what’s going on in the Road Transport and Passenger Transport industries so as we get more news and information we will publish it on here, our new website or for our customers, by email.
If you have any questions regarding this or hours or other law issues, please contact us:
In August, vehicles which have already received an exemption will need a test. All other vehicles due for a test in August will receive a 3-month exemption. When those exemptions expire, vehicles will need to be brought in for test.
Can I get my vehicle tested?
We are working with ATFs to resume testing from 4 July and will be increasing the availability of testers over the coming months, in line with social distancing and the latest Government guidance.
ADR inspections will also be available from 4 July. Vehicle operators carrying dangerous goods who do not book an annual test should apply for a waiver, if they want their annual test and ADR inspection expiry dates to occur at the same time.
We will not be able to restart testing at some of our sites in Scotland immediately. Further information will be provided to those ATFs.
Further information about our plans for testing will be provided.
Heavy vehicle testing: vehicle test exemptions
We recently sent you an email alert concerning the restart of testing for heavy vehicles.
The table below, which we’ve published on GOV.UK, confirms when vehicles with exemptions will be due for test.
Month MOT was originally due
Date your vehicle must pass its MOT by
30 September 2020
Your vehicle has been given two 3-month exemptions
31 October 2020
Your vehicle has been given two 3-month exemptions
The update issued on 18 June 2020 includes reference to:
an increase in the maximum time allowed for a period of grace for financial standing an operator can receive from 6 months to 12 months
more information about in-person tribunal hearings in England from July 2020 (with hearings in Scotland and Wales likely to start a few weeks later as circumstances allow)
Financial standing periods of grace
The maximum period of grace for financial standing an operator can seek has increased.
Previously, it was a maximum of 6 months with the Senior Traffic Commissioner having set a 4 month starting point. The law has been changed to increase that maximum to 12 months with the STC suggesting an initial 6 month starting point. Any decisions about the grant or length of a period of grace will include an assessment of the risk to road safety.
This extension to the law applies to any determination made between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. This gives operators the opportunity to recover their finances during the extended period following the resumption of normal trading as the lockdown eases.
Tell your TC early if you have problems
You should tell your TC if you are experiencing any issue in meeting the financial standing requirement. The condition on your licence gives you a month to notify changes. The TC is likely to be sympathetic and will seek to assist wherever possible, especially given the difficulties arising from COVID-19.
If you can no longer meet the financial standing requirement you are strongly advised to contact the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at [email protected] for advice.
Anyone who fails to do so can expect a TC to require explanations as to why they failed to comply, and it may result in a finding of loss of good repute.
The traffic commissioners have also published two other documents during the outbreak. We recommend you read them:
Physical attendance at public inquiries and other hearings are due to resume from Monday 6 July, with social distancing measures in place.
Published 17 June 2020
The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain have announced that in-person tribunal hearings are set to resume from Monday 6 July 2020. This follows the postponement of cases in March 2020 as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Each tribunal location has been risk assessed and appropriate control measures identified. Steps will be put in place to maintain social distancing and ensure that facilities are COVID-secure. The health and safety of attendees, Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) staff and the commissioners themselves remains of paramount importance and underpins the decision to resume in-person hearings.
Those called to a hearing will be advised of the time and date of their hearing, with sufficient notice given to prepare their case. OTC will provide advice on the steps they may need to take ahead of the hearing in the provision of evidence, and on arrival to assist in maintaining social distancing and ensuring hygiene standards.
Anyone who wants to attend a public inquiry as an observer will need to contact the OTC in advance. This is because the capacity of the tribunal rooms will be restricted during the current period. Some hearings may continue to be held via video link or equivalent. This will be limited to appropriate cases only.
Anyone called to public inquiry (P I), who has concerns about attending in person should let OTC staff know immediately on receipt of the letter calling them to a hearing.
While the majority of OTC staff continue to work from home, please direct any email enquiries to [email protected] or your relevant case worker’s email address.
We occasionally received enquiries from customer about the changes that have been forced on our industries during these unpresidented times and this is such a subject.
Most professional lorry and bus drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to maintain their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence qualification. This is evidenced by a Driver CPC card.
The card is sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’.
The validity of DQCs with expiry dates from 1 February 2020 to 31 August 2020 have been extended by 7 months. If the expiry date on your card is in this period, you should add 7 months to run-out (4b on the card) date to calculate the new expiry date.
A DQC with an expiry date of 1 February 2020 is now valid until 1 September 2020.
A DQC with an expiry date of 1 July 2020 is now valid until 1 February 2021.
You will not be issued with a new card to reflect the new expiry date.
You must still continue to carry your DQC.
Periodic training – DQC with an expiry date from 1 February 2020 to 31 August 2020
The 7 month extension to the validity of your DQC gives you an extra 7 months to complete your 35 hours of periodic training. You have 5 years and 7 months from the date your current CPC became valid to undertake this training.
Your DQC validity has been extended from 30 June 2020 to 31 January 2021. This means periodic training undertaken from 1 July 2015 counts towards the 35 hours of training you must complete by 31 January 2021 to renew your DQC.
DQC with an expiry date from 1 September 2020 to 30 September 2020
On 31 March 2020 DVSA gave notice that, subject to review, it did not intend to carry out enforcement action against drivers from 1 September 2020 to 30 September 2020 if their DQC expired during this period.
This gave these drivers up to 29 extra days to complete their periodic CPC training, if this was disrupted due to COVID-19.
This notice has been rescinded and enforcement action will be carried out from September in relation to DQCs expiring after 31 August, as there are now enough periodic training courses available for drivers whose DQC expires in September 2020 to renew their DQC before then.
If your DQC is due to expire on September 2020, you must not drive until it is renewed. You and your Company could both face a £1000 fine if you drive without a valid DQC and you are caught doing so. In addition you could be called to a driver misconduct hearing and the Company to a Public Inquiry; although currently these would be dealt with remotely.
Where this applies
All EU countries are obliged to recognise the extension of your DQC. You must carry your DQC when carrying out international road transport.
The information below was received a short while ago from the GOV.UK webportal.
The EU has made temporary changes to the road transport rules that apply to operators and drivers of heavy goods and public service vehicles, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the road transport sector.
This email explains how these changes apply in Great Britain.
Driver Qualification Card (DQC) validity
DQCs expiring before 31 August 2020
The validity of DQCs that expire between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 has been extended for 7 months. If the expiry date on your card is in this period, you need to add 7 months to that date to calculate the new expiry date. The extension will be applied automatically. You do not need to take any action. You must continue to carry your DQC.
DQCs expiring in September 2020
On 31 March 2020 DVSA gave notice that, subject to review, enforcement action would not be taken against drivers from 1 September 2020 to 30 September 2020 if their DQC expired during this period. This would have allowed up to an additional 29 days to complete periodic CPC training, due to COVID-19 disruption.
As there are now enough periodic training courses available, this notice has been rescinded and enforcement action will be carried out from September in relation to DQCs expiring after 31 August.
The maximum grace period a Traffic Commissioner may give an operator to demonstrate renewed financial standing following a finding that the requirement has not been met has been extended from 6 months to 12 months. This only applies to assessments of inadequate financial standing made between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.
The Senior Traffic Commissioner will issue an update to the existing Statutory Guidance and Statutory Directions on how this may be applied in due course.
Driver Attestation Update
The validity of driver attestations that expire from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020 have been extended for 6 months.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us in the usual ways; telephone: 01935 577007 or email: [email protected]
We have had a couple of emails and calls over the past couple of days regarding the above so I thought I would post this as a blog on our here for clarification. As is written below, the relaxation of EU drivers hours ceased with effect from 00:00 1st June 2020 and this was an email that was constructed and sent out as soon as we received the information from the GOV.UK webservice. Please ensure any of your drivers who took advantage of these rules, made print-outs for every day they did so; this is very, very important as we are already aware drivers having being stopped and asked for proof of their activities.
The post of Friday read as below:
Ceasing of the relaxation of EU driver hours with effect from 00:00 1st June 2020
As promised in our last post at the beginning of May and the previous one of mid-April; we have just 20 minutes ago received an update of the situation regarding the above. This is the statement from the email below:
As part of the Government’s effort to keep supply chains moving throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the Government announced a temporary measure to relax the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules until 31 May 2020.
Following a review, the Department for Transport has confirmed that the temporary relaxation to the EU drivers’ hours rules will not be extended and will end at 23:59 on 31 May 2020. This means that with effect from Monday morning at 00.00, the normal drivers’ hours rules will apply. Please do not feel you can extend these yourselves as I am sure that the DVSA will be busy checking those they have been able to see or those they seen to see how well they have been doing.
The relaxation to domestic GB drivers’ hours rules will continue until 23:59 on 14 June 2020, but will be kept under review with more information being able to be found on this link.
For the purposes of the Road Transport (Working Time) regulations
Drivers and employers must record activities as follows.
Time spent furloughed does not form part of the calculation of the average maximum weekly working time, as it does not fall under either ‘working time’ or ‘excluded hours’.
Therefore, if a furloughed worker is not doing other work, including any training that would usually be recorded as working time, the time is not working time.
Work that is undertaken by a mobile worker while they are furloughed (for instance for a different employer) that is in scope of the regulations must be recorded and form part of the calculation of the worker’s average weekly working time.
Employers must record sufficient information on furloughed workers to meet their obligations under regulation 11 of the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005.
‘Leave’ must be recorded if conducting no work and taking statutory leave, even if statutory leave is taken while a worker is furloughed.
When statutory leave is taken, 48 hours must be recorded for the mobile worker’s normal working week and 8 hours per day for any period of time which is not a full week. Any leave over and above statutory leave does not have to be accounted in working time totals and can be used to reduce the 48-hour average.
For those of you for whom we carry out analysis, we have been taking care of this anyway and where you have advised us a driver is being furloughed, we have shown this and as advised above. That is to say, a duty has been recorded as furlough but it has been at zero time as far as the Road Transport Directive (Working Time) is concerned.
Please be advised, that during the period of between the relaxation of rules from April until end of May 2020, we were advised as follows:
The relevant provisions of the Road Transport Directive (Working Time) Regulations 2005 will not apply, to the extent that they conflict with the requirements of responding to the emergency. This means that as all of you would have been part way through a 26 (or possibly 17) week reference period, you would not be expected to reduce a drivers hours in order to bring them back to a 48-hour average. However, as when the reference period does come to an end, then it will be necessary to comply with the usual rules. Please also be advised that then as well as now, drivers must still comply with all the other requirements of the Working Time Regulations regarding breaks. These were included in a previous post but if anyone would like further clarification, please contact us and we would be delighted to assist.
Despite what very many of you think, breaching the Road Transport Working Time rules is a serious offence. The DVSA can deal with infringements in a number of ways including the issue of a prohibition notice or, in the most serious cases, a prosecution.
Downloading from drivers’ tachograph cards and vehicle units
We have also been contacted a number of times about this over the past few weeks. So again, taken from the GOV.UK website, this is the view of the DVSA and DoT.
Drivers who are currently driving still need to download their tachograph card. However, in some situations, drivers may be unable to download their card. For example the place where download equipment is located may be inaccessible due to COVID-19. If operators are unable to ensure drivers’ card downloads are carried out due to COVID-19, a record of this should be made and provided to a DVSA examiner if requested. Furloughed drivers need to download their tachograph card when they return to driving so currently drivers do not need to download every 28 days if they are not driving.
Operators still need to download vehicles’ unit data in accordance with the regulations although we, Transolva Ltd., strongly advise this duty is carried out monthly. Again, if they are unable to due to COVID-19, a record of this should be made and provided to a DVSA examiner if requested.
Over 30% of our customers use remote downloading devices which we supply and fit. You will never need to download a drivers’ digi card or vehicle again. We supply fit a download button which a driver presses at the end of his day and the device automatically (via an inserted SIM card, monthly subscrption) downloads every 2 days. You, therefore never need miss downloads or any speed data again!
I appreciate there is a lot of information above hence the reason we are publishing it as a blog as well. Please take notice of what’s been written above and ensure that none of you fall foul of the law.
Over the past year or so things have been happening behind the scenes of Transolva Ltd.
We have just gained our ISO 9001:2015 certification which has involved a lot of hard work. This important development now means we will be able to increase further the services we can offer and we are hoping to be able to Audit soon for the DVSA Earned Recognition Scheme.
In response to requests from Industry, the Department for Transport has, pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, agreed to a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales for the drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning) and over the counter pharmaceuticals when undertaking the following journeys:
Distribution centre to stores (or fulfilment centre)
From manufacturer or supplier to distribution centre (including backhaul collections)
From manufacturer or supplier to store (or fulfilment centre)
Between distribution centres and transport hub trunking
The interests of our customers, our people and our communities are at the centre of everything we do, and this is particularly important during these extremely challenging times.
We are following the guidance issued by Public Health England, taking extra measures to ensure our staff are reducing risk to as low as possible. Our staff continue to operate, in the office or from home and are contactable through our office number or emails to help with any queries you may have.