TAN21 licensing plan hit by more delays
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• by Dominic Perry A senior Traffic Area Network official has warned that the long awaited TAN21 computer system will not be fully on line until next April—almost nine months behind schedule.
In June, CM reported that the system would not be ready in time for its July deadline. Now Christine Norris, the administrative director of the West Midlands and Welsh traffic areas, has warned delegates at a Freight Transport Association seminar that it will not cover the entire country until April next year.
The TAN21system has been on trial in Scotland but hauliers there complained that a huge backlog of applications and variations was caused by teething troubles with the new equipment. And three months later problems are still occurring, with hauliers often waiting as long as four weeks for applications to be processed.
Chris Rampley manager for infrastructure at the Road Haulage Association, hit out at the setbacks: "It's disappointing that there have been quite so many problems with it. If they had said from the start it was going to take three years then we could have worked towards that."
However, Norris defended the roll-out plan: "We decided that once we had the problems with Scotland we would have a rolling deadline until the system was sorted. Operators may have to wait a little longer, but the system does work very well once it's running."
The system's successful introduction across the TAO network is seen as central to the future of enforcement and licensing—there are plans to install TAN21 at the Bristol, Cambridge and Eastbourne offices soon, with Leeds and Birmingham to follow.
• Legislation to allow the Vehicle Inspectorate to impound illegally operated trucks is also being delayed. It was due to come into effect on 1 October (having been delayed from the original launch date of July) but a VI spokeswoman says that mid-December is now more realistic.