From London To Edinburgh

Posted on: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 by Mike Webb

In a busy week for FTA on the campaigning trail, the Association has been discussing the issues central to logistics with both the Transport Select Committee and a number of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

Monday saw the Transport Committee taking evidence from several organisations on the performance of VOSA. FTA was at the heart of the session, discussing the merits and problems of the testing transformation process and the creation of Authorised Testing Facilities. FTA has been clear that the ending of double-digit percentage fee increases for the maintenance of VOSA stations has been welcome, however the flexibilities and cost reductions which ATFs could bring cannot be fully realised as long as VOSA retains a monopoly on carrying out the tests.

Other topics included the performance of foreign operators, the effectiveness of VOSA's enforcement drive in countering problems with overseas vehicles and whether or not the Road User Levy will level the playing field - FTA arguing that it will not as long as the fuel duty differential with overseas operators remains, but it is a welcome step in that direction. The Committee will report later in the spring with suggestions on where VOSA is working well and where there is room for improvement.

Two days later and FTA will be in the Scottish Parliament talking about road safety. Last week had seen a debate on lorry speed limits, and a burgeoning campaign to increase the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway A roads in Scotland to 50 mph. There is an encouraging level of support from MSPs of all parties for the measure and FTA is set to meet each of the principal speakers over the next couple of days to discuss furthering the concept; speaking to MSPs from the SNP, Labour and Conservative parties.

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