Simplification and Better Regulation

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The Department for Transport is committed to better regulation. We aim to ensure that we regulate only where absolutely necessary, our regulations and the ways we enforce them are fair and effective, and any burdens from regulation are kept to a minimum.

Regulations are often essential for the safety or security of people using and working on all forms of transport, or to protect the environment, but it is important to strike the right balance so that they do not impose unnecessary burdens or stifle growth.

To help us make sure that all these factors are taken into account, new regulations or changes to existing ones that would have an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector or public services are accompanied by an Impact Assessment (IA). An IA is a framework for analysis of the range of options for implementing policy changes and the likely impacts, including the costs and benefits to all those affected.

We are taking forward a programme of work to simplify our regulations, reduce the administrative burdens that they cause (cut red tape), and improve our inspection and enforcement processes. This programme of work is set out in our Departmental Simplification Plan. The plan was first published in December 2006 and will be updated annually. The latest version of the plan was published in December 2007.

If you want to contact us about the work we are doing please e-mail us at:  Suggestions for ways to reduce burdens and simplify any aspect of DfT regulation or enforcement can be submitted through the Government's simplification website at:

Simplification Plan

DfT Simplification Plan: "Transport: Lightening the Load" sets out the measures we are taking forward to simplify regulations and deliver policy and administrative burdens reductions of an estimated £500 million for the private and public sectors, and individuals, by 2010. It shows that we are on course to deliver our target to reduce by 25% the administrative burdens that our regulations place on business by 2010.

The Administrative Burdens Measurement Exercise

The Admin Burdens Measurement Exercise (ABME) was carried out in 2005 by the Government in response to the Better Regulation Task Force report, 'Regulation: Less is More'. The aim of the exercise was to measure the baseline administrative costs imposed on businesses, charities and the voluntary sector as a result of central government, European or other international regulation. Following the measurement exercise, DfT made a commitment to reduce its baseline administrative costs by 25% by 2010.

Impact Assessments

An Impact Assessment (IA) is a tool which informs policy decisions. It presents an assessment of the impact of policy options in terms of the costs, benefits and risks being addressed by a proposal along with the evidence base and any assumptions made in developing policy solution. The Impact Assessment process was developed in 2007 by the Better Regulation Executive, part of the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. It replaces the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).

For related documents, pages and internet links, see the column on the right.