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NEVER ON A SATURDAY

18th April 1996, Page 7
18th April 1996
Page 7
Page 7, 18th April 1996 — NEVER ON A SATURDAY
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The good Lord giveth...and the good Lord tt away. The Vehicle Inspectorate's prop, charges for annual testing should be gen( welcomed by hauliers, not least those curt "enjoying" the bountiful average industry r on revenue of 4-5%. Anything that pegs prices or, i case of some classes of vehicles, actually reduces the to be welcomed. What we're not so convinced aboL the supplements that the VI is considering chargin "out of hours" testing, or testing at "designated pr, es." When it comes to Saturday testing, frankly we see why civil servants shouldn't work the same kit hours as the rest of the industry, for the same prio for testing at DPs, no one would dispute that the VI i additional expenditure and loss of productivity thr the scheme. But in its consultation letter it also acki edges that these extra costs are "...offset by the rer of the relevant VI accommodation and associ charges from the expenses of testing at C Unfortunately it seems that one doesn't cancel oL other so the VI "...proposes to recover the differen the form of a supplement".

0 n a 3+3 38-tonne artic that "difference" cou as much as El 8.70p—a surcharge of 37% c standard annual fee. The whole point of off annual testing at a site other than a DOT test skit' that, in the words of the VI, it "...provides the oppor to cut associated costs significantly, particularly v there are long distances between the operators' an VI's own sites". However, potential users of shouldn't have to pay through the nose for that oaf nity. The VI has to cover its costs on testing. Unli enforcement budget, which is dependent or Department of Transport's generosity (or, in the cc this Government and its Treasury, a lack of it), the a

testing scheme has to be selffinancing. But what will be the effect on the small haulier based in a rural area? If he has to drive a long distance to a VI test station he stands to lose out in terms of loss of use, wear and tear and diesel. But if he can find a DP that's closer he could still end up being no better off thanks to that DP supplement. The VI's test charges are currently doing the rounds in a consultation letter: make sure you make your views known—or pay the price. L../ ,------

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Organisations: Department of Transport

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