The Environmental Services Association has welcomed guidance issued by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency that it will suspend MOT testing for all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), trailers and public service vehicles for up to three months.
From Friday, March 20, the government announced that all HGVs with an annual safety test due to expire will be issued with a three-month certificate of exemption until further notice.
Full details can be seen here.
Executive director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Jacob Hayler, said: “This sensible, pragmatic, approach taken by the DVSA is welcomed and will help recycling and waste operators, including ESA members, remain focused on keeping our homes and streets free from waste during this challenging period.
“Of course, ESA members will continue to keep all of their vehicles in a safe, roadworthy, condition and will operate within the terms of their operators’ licence conditions, but this extension does provide temporary small relief to a vital sector that will undoubtedly be under increasing pressure in the coming weeks and months.
“The ESA is working with Government to try and address multiple regulatory areas where temporary common-sense flexibility like this will help operators to keep the wheels turning on waste services.”
However, the ESA says that for some vehicle categories, this will not happen automatically and will need to be applied for.
The ESA added that the measure will provide some “small relief” for the waste management sector, which operates large fleets of heavy goods vehicles (including refuse collection vehicles) to provide “vital waste services” to society.
“This sensible, pragmatic, approach taken by the DVSA is welcomed and will help recycling and waste operators”
The association said it will ensure that otherwise road-worthy vehicles can remain deployed, and not in the garage.
Alongside MOT testing being suspended, licence tests for new drivers have also been widely suspended, except for identified key-workers, which includes those working in the recycling and waste industry.
This means that trainee HGV drivers for the sector, who may be waiting to take their tests in the coming months, should still be able to do so.
The full announcement can be found here.
When announcing the suspension, the transport secretary Gregg Shapps said: “We are having to take big decisions to protect the public in our national battle against COVID-19. Regrettably, we have had to suspend driver testing for up to three months to help tackle the spread of the virus. It is vital that those who need a test can get one so DVSA is offering tests to those who have a critical need.”