asked the Minister of Transport if he will publish his proposals on future arrangements for annual testing of heavy goods vehicles and large passenger vehicles.
I am publishing a paper today which sets out my policy for the future of annual testing. I intend to transfer the network of heavy goods vehicle testing centres to a limited number of private sector companies, which will also take on the annual testing of large passenger vehicles. I believe that
limits will apply to motor cycles and most agricultural tractors manufactured on or after 1 October 1982 and first used on or after 1 April 1983 and to most other vehicles manufactured on or after 1 April 1983 and first used on or after 1 October 1983. The regulations allow a few exemptions, and relaxations for specialised vehicles which rarely travel on the roads and made very little contribution to vehicle noise levels. The table following shows the existing and new noise limits.
I am also considering the response to my proposals for still further reductions in the longer term.
there is no case for retaining testing in the public sector, and employing a large number of civil servants, when the private sector can provide a more flexible and efficient service without any lowering of safety standards.
I am placing copies of my policy paper in the Library of the House.