'We all want safe vehicles'
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The trade unions representing VOSA staff remain uneasy about the future of the agency's testing strategy.
VOSA Trade Union Side (TUS) is not opposed to testing vehicles at non-VOSA sites. The ;:urrent model where Designated Premises and Authorised 'testing Facilities supplement the VOSA test station network, we believe, works well and is lit for purpose.
The VOSA TUS i.c. however. opposed to VOSA's Testing Transformation Programme. We believe the strategy is simple: force testing away from VOSA stations and then sell them off. Current plans are for only eight test stations to remain open by March 2018. This will remove stations where operators are assured of impartial treatment.
The House of Commons 'flansport Committee reported in August 2009 that "...any move towards complete privatisation of test sites would disproportionately affect smaller operators..." and that "....VOSA be required to re
lain a significant network of sites in order to maintain adequate coverage for annual testing throughout the UK and to safeguard VOSA's role as the independent enforcement agency': Eight test stations is not a sigifficant network, and smaller operators will be the ones paying the price.
In response to the trade associations call for testing to be fully privatised in the way car MOTs are (see p6), no-one should forget that the purpose of the test is road safety The test is a once-a-year opportunity to demonstrate a vehicle is saft and legal.
The trade associations cite tes failures are at a record low; a recur& low of 25%-33% of presented vehi des failing to meet the minimun safety and legal standard.
We are all part of the same indus try, we all want safe vehicles on ou roads; and we all have our part ti play in achieving that. Do we wan 15% of vehicles incorrectly assessed as in the current car scheme, o 0.051% of incorrect decisions as the FIGV scheme? The real price c getting this wrong will not be foun. on a balance sheet, but in the loekhospitals with an increase to th number of killed and injured. •