Written statement to Parliament

Red Tape Challenge reform of road transport regulations

Road transport Red Tape Challenge results and further measures.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

In May, my department launched the road transportation theme of the Red Tape Challenge - part of the Cabinet Office’s project to review all of the outstanding regulations currently on the statute book. Following a detailed process of challenge, stakeholder discussion and public feedback, I am now pleased to announce the results.

Within the road transport Red Tape Challenge, my department put forward every secondary regulation relating to road transportation for public discussion - 415 in total. 376 of these are judged still to be live, and of these I propose to scrap, merge, simplify, amend or improve 142 - well over a third. The detailed breakdown I propose is:

  Keep as is Improve Scrap Moved*
Number 226 84 58 8
Percentage 60.1% 22.3% 15.4% 2.1%
Number non-EU 180 75 54 8
Percentage 55.9% 23.6% 18.0% 2.5%

*Moved regulations will be finalised under a different section of the Red Tape Challenge.

Amongst the measures we are pursuing, we will be:

  • scrapping the regulation requiring motorists to hold a paper counterpart to their driving licence by 2015 - saving drivers up to £8 million
  • improving the regulation surrounding the notification process for vehicles that are not in use on the road (Statutory Off Road Notification or SORN). Once drivers have notified the DVLA that their vehicle is SORN, they will no longer have the burden of annual SORN renewal
  • only issuing hard-copies of V5C vehicle registration certificates for fleet operators when needed (with the potential to offer the same to private motorists)
  • introducing a limited exemption from drivers’ hours rules so that those who also drive as Territorial Army reservists in their own time can continue to do so

The challenge has also considered various administrative measures that are not based in legislation and has examined pieces of primary legislation that can be amended or simplified.

Other proposals include:

  • removing the need for an insurance certificate. Department for Transport will work with the insurance industry on removing the need for motorists to have to hold an insurance certificate
  • abolishing the requirement for drivers to prove they have insurance when applying for tax, meaning 600,000 more people will be able to tax their car online. This has been made possible by new checks of existing databases for insurance under new continuous insurance enforcement rules. (The DVLA’s records are now compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to identify registered keepers of vehicles that appear to have no insurance)
  • we will look at experience in other countries on driver Certificates of Professional Competence (CPC) - the qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. In particular, to see if we could remove the need for some sectors, such as farmers who drive stock to market, from needing a CPC
  • local authorities will now have to ensure business interests are properly considered as part of any future proposed workplace parking levy scheme. They must show they have properly and effectively consulted local businesses, have addressed any proper concerns raised and secured support from the local business community
  • abolishing the regulations on the treatment of lost property on buses. Bus companies currently have to wait 48 hours before they can throw away perishable items left on the bus

The full list of 376 regulations, explaining what actions we are taking on each, is available on my department’s website.

Overall, this represents an ambitious programme of deregulation, some elements of which will represent a major shift in the way my department does business. I am pleased with the results of this section of the Red Tape Challenge and the deregulatory mindset it has helped foster. I look forward to similar outcomes from the ongoing rail and maritime theme and next year’s examination of aviation red tape.

Published 15 December 2011