DfT fee increases: another nail in transport’s coffin Thu Mar 26 14:26:00 GMT 2009

Companies in the transport sector face another nail in the coffin with the inflation-busting fee hikes announced today by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) executive agencies, says the Freight Transport Association.

The increases, which in Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) fees alone is an eye-watering nine per cent, come less than a week before a planned rise in fuel duty of 1.84 pence per litre. Taken as a whole, they could not only cost the transport sector financially, but in terms of jobs too.

Jo Tanner of FTA, which last week launched its Every Penny Counts campaign calling for a moratorium on these increases, said:

“Those working within the transport sector are already bearing the brunt of the recession. Now the Government, which says it wants to support British industry, is kicking us while we’re down by imposing these fee increases and duty hikes. Surely they should be working with us to safeguard jobs in the very industry that keeps UK plc moving?”

The need for these extreme increases in agency fees has raised questions about the DfT’s oversight of its executive agencies.

Jo Tanner continued:

“Operating costs in VOSA alone have spiralled from £49 million in 2003/4 to £71 million in 2007/8. The Department for Transport is under a duty to keep costs and operations under review, something which, in this case, seems palpably absent. Industry is now having to pay for DfT sleeping on the job and that’s just not good enough. These rises are putting jobs at risk and putting another nail in the logistics sector’s coffin. The blame for that lies at the Government’s door.”

 Notes for editors

1. FTA’s Every Penny Counts campaign is supported by the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association and www.petrolprices.com

2. The £1,500 per truck additional burden on businesses is broken down as follows:

1.84 pence per litre rise in diesel duty from 1 April 2009 - £917.00
Loss of Reduced Pollution Certificate Vehicle Excise Duty incentive for Euro 5 - £75.00
Nine per cent increase in Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) test fees - £21.28
Loss of test lane capacity from VOSA stations - £127.74
Above inflation increase in Driver Standards Agency (DSA) fees - £1.40
Above inflation Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) fees - N/A
Medical test fees for drivers over age 45 - £6.00
Additional staff training costs linked to Driver Certificate of Professional Competence - £33.95
Unnecessary and erroneous ticketing of delivery vehicles by Civil Enforcement Officers - £364.00
Total - £1,546.37

3. VOSA contends that these revisions will result in greater flexibility for operators and reduce costs.   FTA waits to see how these changes will be implemented.



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