asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Council on Tribunals about the procedures governing public inquiries into goods vehicle operators' licence applications since the introduction of environmental considerations as factors to be taken into account in such inquiries; and if he will place copies of those representations in the Library.
The only communication we have received since the environmental provisions came into effect has been an informal enquiry as to whether we propose to issue guidance notes to persons making representations at public inquiries. We will be seeking the views of the licensing authorities on this suggestion.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport which inquiry procedure rules are applicable to public inquiries into goods vehicle operators' licence applications held under the Transport Acts 1968 and 1982; whether the rules of natural justice apply at such public inquiries; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the non-statutory guidelines on procedure used by licensing authorities at such public inquiries.
There are no specific inquiry procedure rules or non-statutory guidelines issued by the Department for goods vehicle operator licensing inquiries held under the Transport Acts 1968 and 1982. The licensing authorities are bound by Regulations 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the Goods Vehicle (Operators' Licences, Qualifications and Fees) Regulations 1984 which are relevant to the rights of appearance at the public inquiry; the conduct of the inquiry is also governed by regulation 23 of the same regulations. Beyond this the procedure is a matter for the licensing authority. The rules of natural justice apply to such inquiries.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if persons representing parties at inquiries into goods vehicle operators' licence applications may call expert witnesses to support their case on environmental factors.