O-licensing in Northern Ireland

Published:  12 November, 2009

LONDON: Merchants running trucks in Northern Ireland face more stringent operator licensing with a new commercial vehicle licensing regime due next year when the Goods Vehicle (Operator Licensing) Bill passed the consideration stage in parliament this week.

The Freight Transport Association led the campaign to bring O-Licensing to Northern Ireland and anticipates Royal Assent of the Bill in mid-December.

Tom Wilson, the association's head of policy for Northern Ireland, said: "The Bill is making good progress and FTA is pleased that everything has been voted through this formal consideration Stage. O-licensing will improve the overall safety standards of all commercial vehicles on our roads, making the roads safer for all road users and applying the same standards operators face in the rest of the UK."

Commercial vehicles in Northern Ireland have poorer maintenance standards than for the rest of the UK with almost half (45%) of rigid vehicles failing roadworthiness tests at annual inspections.

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