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17-03-11 VOSA's Testing Transformation programme gathers pace as ATF target is met

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's (VOSA) drive to reduce burdens on industry and take testing to the customer is gathering pace as the agency confirms that two new non-VOSA testing stations opened this week.

The new Authorised Testing Facility’s (ATFs) have be opened by Moreton Cullimore in Gloucester and S and K Haulage in Barry, South Wales.

In addition, after completing further analysis of the potential market for ATFs, VOSA will close the Gloucester, Liverpool and Bishopbriggs (Glasgow) test stations. The review found that there is sufficient interest in running ATFs in the areas around these sites to cease testing by December 2011. The nine-month notice period is to allow sufficient time for new ATFs to meet the required standards, achieve authorisation, and go live.

VOSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples said:

“I’m very pleased to see these latest sites open - it means that VOSA has met our target to open 40 new non-VOSA sites by the end of March. It shows that the industry has confidence in the future of testing and that ATFs are the way forward. We have been working tremendously hard to provide an efficient, modern 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.”

"We have carried out further detailed research and found that there is sufficient interest from operators around Gloucester, Liverpool and Bishopbriggs in providing alternative facilities where VOSA staff will continue to provide their high level of testing. We will continue to work closely with customers in these areas to support them through the ATF process”

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

- ENDS -

Notes to editor:

1. Testing Transformation Programme

The aim of the Testing Transformation Programme 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 Authorised Testing Facilities (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.

2. 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 20 areas this financial year. Gloucester, Liverpool and Bishopbriggs sites were part of this validation - they indicated a strong ATF market and represented a good geographical coverage.

3. Figures

Since the launch of the ATF contract in January 2010, 49 ATFs have become operational (12 new sites, and 37 Designated Premises (DPs) converting to ATF status).

The ‘taking testing to the customer’ strategy is proving successful. So far in 2010/11, 41 new non-VOSA sites have gone live.

More information on ATFs is available on www.businesslink.gov.uk/ATF

4. Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

DSA shares the Gloucester, Liverpool and Bishopbriggs sites 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 (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. It is responsible for:
  • Processing applications for licenses 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.

For media inquiries about VOSA please contact: Luke Bigwood on 0117 954 3208 or 07966 620 658 or e-mail: press@vosa.gov.uk .

Page last updated: 07/04/2011

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