The Traffic Commissioners have issued advice for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and public service vehicle (PSV) operators who are faced with numerous new problems and questions because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Available at assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, this guidance recognises that the goods and passenger carrying industries may face significant challenges in the coming months.

It answers questions such as:

  • Can I temporarily operate more vehicles than authorised under my goods vehicle operator’s licence to meet an urgent public demand?

  • What if I can no longer meet the requirement to be of the appropriate financial standing?

  • What can I do if I have temporarily lost access to an operating centre as a result of restrictions imposed during the outbreak?

  • What will happen if I cannot maintain my vehicles in line with the stated intervals?

  • As my vehicles are not being used during this period, will I have to carry out a pre-use inspection before I put them into use again?

  • I do not want to amend (bus) services but some days I do not have the required number of staff to operate them. Will I face regulatory action if I fail to run some services?

  • How can I urgently register new bus services to assist in the transportation of essential workers?

The advice is being updated on a regular basis with the most recent addition examining whether a transport manager can be furloughed.

Recognising that there may be several scenarios which lead to an agreement to furlough this important member of the team, the Traffic Commissioners have said that they will consider each case on its own merit.

They consider cases where:

  • an operator has temporarily laid up the whole fleet of licensed vehicles and the transport manager will be re-engaged before operations recommence

  • an operator has reduced their overall operation and some transport managers are furloughed (as may occur with some larger operations who have several transport managers).

“If an operator continues to operate and attempts to furlough the only transport manager, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner must be advised immediately,” the advice highlights. “There is a mandatory and continuing requirement for professional competence on all standard licences. In order to continue operating that standard operator must make an application for a Period of Grace or seek a temporary exemption, in order to continue operating without a transport manager.”

Last reviewed 8 April 2020