MPA welcomes Government's Decision to align future Regulation of Volumetric Concrete Mixers with HGVs
Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP has made a further announcement to finalise the future regulation of volumetric concrete mixers. MPA has been seeking equivalent regulation of volumetric concrete mixers and HGVs and welcomes the latest decision which means that regulations for volumetric concrete mixers and other HGVs will converge, starting in September 2018.
Currently Volumetric operators and drivers are able to operate significantly outside the normal HGV rules, with no Operator Licence requirement, no application of drivers' hours or working time rules, no apparent requirement for HGV licences, and no effective vehicle weight limits – with 4 axle rigid volumetrics often being loaded well in excess of 40 tonnes compared with the equivalent 32 tonne weight limit for HGVs – due to a legal loophole which has resulted in volumetrics being defined as engineering plant rather than goods vehicles/HGVs.
The DfT's latest and previous announcements mean that volumetric operators will require Operator licences and volumetric drivers will have to work to EU drivers' hours and working time rules from September this year and volumetric concrete mixers will be subject to HGV testing requirements. The Minister's decision to allow existing volumetics to operate under a temporary regime to up to March 2028 at the latest is a longer transition period than MPA was seeking, but the package of measures announced means that Government has recognised that there is no underlying justification for a more limited regulatory regime for volumetric concrete mixers and that the current regulatory divergence between volumetrics and truckmixers needs to be closed.
The DfT has also accepted MPA's view that there is no case for the previously proposed option of setting up a new separate regulatory regime for volumetric concrete mixers which would have embedded their ability to operate to higher weights than equivalent HGVs. This proposal has now been formally dropped.
MPA Executive Director Jerry McLaughlin commented "It is very positive that after many years of lax regulation of volumetric concrete mixers, Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP and officials are now taking action which will bring the regulation of volumetric concrete mixers in line with other HGVs. We would have preferred a shorter transition period for vehicle weights but the policy direction is now clear and significant regulatory convergence will start in September this year. The Minister's decisions are a victory for road safety and common sense".
The Ministers announcement can be accessed here