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Licensing transport managers

26th December 1975
Page 18
Page 18, 26th December 1975 — Licensing transport managers
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

by Les Oldridge, TEng (CE!), MIMI, AMIRTE

THE vexed question of the licensing of transport managers is still with us. The DoE has circulated a consultative document in which it has been explained that the requirements of the EEC directive could be met by implementing Section 65 and Schedule 9 of the Transport Act 1968. (CM September 5 1975).

Section 65 required that every operator's licence must specify a person, known as the transport manager, who is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the authorised vehicles in the fleet. This person must be the holder of a transport manager's licence. Because of a change of government this section was never brought into force, but it is still on the Statute Book.

The Labour Party introduced this legislation and it seems likely that this law will be used, suitably modified, to meet the EEC requirements for licensed transport managers.

If the section were introduced in its present form the transport manager could be the holder of an 0 licence as well as the TML. In the case of the bigger fleets, where this was not required it would be permissible for an employee to hold the licence. But in this case he would have to hold a position of responsibility—for example, transport manager, supervisor or foreman.

Records regs

The Act requires that the TM be responsible for ensuring that the drivers under his charge are properly licensed and that they comply with the driver's hours of work and keeping of records regulations.

Where an operator has more than one base in a traffic area from where yehicles are operated it would be necessary for him to specify a licensed transport manager for each base. Schedule 9 to the Act gives further details concerning TMLs. Such licences would be issued by the licensing authority and would last for five years. A person applying for a licence would have to give the LA details of his experience in the operation or maintenance of vehicles of any description and the capacity in which that experience was gained; any TML previously held by him and any.. revocation or suspension of that licence together with details of any position carrying direct responsibility for the operation and maintenance of goods vehicles which he holds or has been offered. The LA will consider if the applicant fulfils the following requirements: (a) Is he a fit person to hold the licence?

(b)'has he got the necessary qualifications, experience and knowledge as is prescribed for the type of licence for which he is applying?

(c) That unless he is exempt by regulations from the two previous requirements, has he, at some time during the previous 10 years passed the test in relation to the licence for which he is applying?

The LA is given power under the Act to revoke or suspend a licence if the holder has been convicted of an offence specified in the regulations; or if by his acts or omissions he has contributed to the circumstances which causes the LA to suspend the 0 licence held by him or his employer. But the LA will not take this action unless he is satisfied that the frequency with which the TM has been guilty of offences, acts or omissions or the facts of the particular case are sufficiently serious to warrant this course. There will be a right of appeal to the Transport Tribunal against revocation or suspension of a TML.

The last part of the Schedule refers to regulations which the Minister may make respecting TML, and in particular to tests or examinations which it may be necessary for applicants to pass. It seems to be generally accepted that existing managers would be exempt from the requirement to take an examination in much the same way as the drivers of hgv were exempt from passing a test if they had been driving during a qualifying period.


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