Press release

VOSA landmark as 100th Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) opens

The Testing Transformation Programme (TTP) reaches a milestone as it continues to take testing closer to the customer.


The 100th ATF opens on Monday 18 July 2011 marking a milestone in VOSA’s drive to reduce burdens and take testing closer to the customer.

Bullwell Trailer Solutions based in Lichfield, Staffordshire, are able to test HGVs, PSVs and trailers and will offer tests to third-parties.

VOSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples said:

The opening of the 100th ATF shows that our strategy of taking testing closer to the customer is working and that the industry has confidence in ATFs.

We will continue the hard work to provide an efficient service for our customers which delivers convenient, high-quality testing.

More tests than ever are now being carried out by VOSA staff at privately-owned sites, reducing the amount of time and money operators need to spend travelling to test stations.

Following further analysis of the potential market for ATFs, VOSA will close the Stoke and Ipswich test stations. The review found that there is sufficient interest in running ATFs in the areas around these sites to cease testing by April 2012.

The 9 month notice period is to allow sufficient time for new ATFs to meet the required standards, achieve authorisation and go live.

Local staff will be involved in planning future operations in these areas, with VOSA staff providing HGV and PSV testing from ATFs, Designated Premises and neighbouring VOSA test stations.

Notes to editors

Testing Transformation Programme (TTP)

The aim of TTP is to reduce the cost to industry of statutory testing by ensuring that testing is carried out at or near where vehicles are maintained.

VOSA aims to achieve this by delivering testing in the form of ATFs - sites in the private sector that use VOSA testing staff.

At the same time VOSA will avoid having to invest tens of millions of pounds modernising its own ageing estate, which directly impacts the test fee.

Market validation

Market validation is a rigorous approach to research the potential ATF market within the catchment area of VOSAs’ stations.

VOSA has a commitment to review the potential ATF market in all 68 of our full-time test station areas, and a target of completing 25 areas this financial year.

The Stoke and Ipswich sites were part of this validation - they indicated a strong ATF market and represented a good geographical coverage.

For more information on ATFs visit Set up an Authorised Testing Facility (ATF).

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

DSA shares the Stoke site and is fully aware of VOSA’s plans. DSA will continue to work closely with VOSA as it reviews its options for continued delivery of services. For more information please contact DSA Press Office on 0115 936 6133.


VOSA is responsible for:

  • processing applications for licences to operate lorries and buses and registering bus services
  • operating and administering testing schemes for all vehicles, including the supervision of the MOT testing scheme
  • enforcing the law on vehicles to ensure that they comply with legal standards and regulations
  • enforcing drivers’ hours and licensing requirements
  • supporting Traffic Commissioners to help them make informed decisions on operator licensing, vocational drivers and bus registration requirements
  • providing training and advice for commercial operators
  • investigating vehicle accidents, defects and recalls

VOSA media enquiries

You should contact our press office if you have a media query or you’re a journalist.

Published 11 July 2011