LETTER OF THE WEEK
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It’s great to finally have new TCs, but how will they fare?
WELL WE have two new trafic commissioners (TCs), one of them being Kevin Rooney (pictured). And shock, horror, they are both civil servants. Not since the mid-80s have we seen civil servants from the Department for Transport (DfT) appointed as TCs.
So does this spell the end of the dominance of retired military or solicitors hogging these jobs? Perhaps the DfT was sick of the current batch of TCs having its over the slightest thing, instead of getting on with the job they are paid to do.
Will these newcomers be welcomed by the old guard? Maybe not. Will they be seen by the existing TCs as gatekeepers appointed by the DfT to try to keep the present bunch of whingers in order? I suspect so. Is that a role they will play? I doubt it.
Yes, the newcomers will come to the job with a full understanding of how the DfT works and what it expects. And they should come with a very good understanding of working within tight budgets. They should also come with a good understanding of the legislation they have to administer, which is a big plus. And they are unlikely to come with the airs and graces some of the present batch of TCs have. And I doubt they will need much training in how to do the job, especially not from the existing post holders.
It will be interesting to see how they develop into the posts. Will they just sit back and relax and take the money or will they rise to the challenge? TCs have long talked about modernising the way they do their job and undertake their functions, but we still remain to see any tangible evidence that they have the will, ability or capacity to change. Can these new brooms make a difference? And will one of them challenge for the vacancy of Senior TC? Time will tell.
Bill Buckley OBE Former VOSA national licensing director