A raft of benefits are coming to motorists as a result of the government’s drive to reduce red tape.
The government has announced an additional tranche of cuts to red tape for motorists, fleet providers and haulage professionals across the UK as part of its ongoing Red Tape Challenge.
Launched in 2011, the challenge is aimed at reducing the level of bureaucracy across all sectors of the UK economy, with more than 11,000 articles of legislation and regulations being assessed for their relevance to today’s society.
Roads minister Stephen Hammond revealed cumulative savings of upwards of £54 million are being offered as a result of the efficiency in regulation drive, with 36 million vehicles no longer requiring the use of paper tax discs, six million Brits no longer needing to return an insurance certificate if the policy is cancelled mid-term and 33 million drivers no longer needing a paper counterpart to their licence.
Finally, more than 17 million changes to address and vehicle details will now be able to be carried out online, saving businesses and individuals thousands of pounds.
Mr Hammond said: “Taxpayers have a right to expect government services to be convenient and uncomplicated. The work we have carried out to remove unnecessary paperwork has reaped real benefits for motorists and businesses.
“Some of these changes might seem very straightforward but they are helping to make life easier for millions of people. Our work will not stop there and we will continue to look for ways of slashing unnecessary bureaucracy across the transport network and ensuring government services are customer-friendly.”
Benefits for drivers and businesses
Details of the savings that will be heading in the direction of both motorists and firms over the coming months as a result of this streamlining of legislation include a reduction of 160,000 in the number of classic car owners who now no longer need to MOT their vehicle, as well as 1.2 million car owners who no longer have to renew the registration of their SORN – Statutory Off Road Notification.
Meanwhile, changes to insurance checks mean more than 600,000 additional drivers can tax their vehicle online and this year will also see the introduction of services for more than one million owners who will be able to put a number plate on their vehicle via online channels rather than through paper.
Moreover, in excess of two million fleet vehicles will not need paper registration certificates when new laws are brought in later this year and up to 21,000 lorry and bus drivers are to benefit from not having to change their tachograph card should they move home.
Changes made to transport rules under the Red Tape Challenge have also helped to reduce congestion through incentivising roadworks across the country, while businesses have been helped to save in excess of £24 million a year by not requiring mechanics and valets to undergo additional driver training for their day-to-day work.
FTA tasked with leading the challenge
Furthermore, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has now taken on the unenviable task of addressing key regulatory concerns for the UK haulage sector, with the FTA to be a leading voice on regulatory changes under the Red Tape Challenge that will impact driver hours reporting and the Working Times Directive.
It is a complicated system of monitoring and ensuring professional drivers do not exceed their driving allowances and take their allotted breaks, but it is an area where the FTA’s extensive experience will now be brought to bear.
Failure to properly manage driver timings and tachograph issues can lead to considerable fines for businesses and penalty points for drivers, so it is something the government is keen to make easier to understand and adhere to.
James Firth, FTA head of road freight and enforcement policy, commented: “The FTA is delighted to have been asked by the government to lead the way in producing new guidance surrounding drivers times and breaks, and that the association’s 125 year history of providing effective, reliable compliance information to the industry has been recognised.”
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