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iurope drives at :ommon licence

28th June 1980, Page 7
28th June 1980
Page 7
Page 7, 28th June 1980 — iurope drives at :ommon licence
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ITAIN has secured a special deal for ry and bus driving licences which has iped the EEC move a step much closer a common driving licence throughout rope.

At a Council of Transport Ministers' ?eting in Luxembourg this week, Transrt Minister Norman Fowler succeeded preserving the higher quality standards ilt into British heavy vehicle tests.

While member states' ordinary driving mce will be recognised throughout the mmunity from January 1, 1983, sub to satisfying domestic medical iuirements, Britain has secured a final r on whether or not it will accept foreign v or psv drivers.

Foreign drivers seeking permission to ve lorries and buses in Britain must isfy the Department of Transport that !y have had six month's driving exience in the previous eighteen months. !s should be ratified by the driver's !vious employer and where necessary the public authorities in his own state. From January 1, 1986, a standard format pink driving licence will be recognised throughout the EEC. This complies with the 1968 Vienna Convention model and includes provision for an identity photograph.

Britain may require a Community derogation (exemption) for the photograph as the Swansea computer — a pioneer in its field — cannot cope with a photograph at present. DTp is endeavouring to comply with this requirement as soon as practicable.

Mr Fowler told the Council that he had still to consult with the British road transport industry over the licence and added that it must then be debated in the Commons. But obstacles are "procedural rather than substantive' he said, and he hopes that final ratification will be possible at the next Council meeting later this year.

Richard Burke, European Commissioner for Transport, sees it as an "interesting breakthrough."