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Lorries: Licensing

Volume 489: debated on Friday 13 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions his Department has had with its Executive agencies on setting testing fees for goods vehicles, their drivers and operators. (263383)

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is responsible for setting and administering testing fees for goods vehicles and their operators while the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is responsible for setting the fees for the testing of goods vehicle drivers.

Since VOSA and DSA are established as a Trading Funds they are required to set fees to meet their outgoings. On 27 October 2008, DSA issued a public consultation on changes to the level of fees applicable to the practical driving test for goods vehicles while on 6 November 2008, VOSA issued a public consultation on changes to the level and structure of its fees for the testing of goods vehicles and operators, both to come into effect in April of this year.

This followed extensive discussion with Department officials that included analysis to ensure that:

proposed fees have been calculated in line with Government guidance on the setting of statutory fees;

that there are sound and appropriate assumptions upon which the agency’s financial forecasts are based;

that the plans provide sufficient revenues to support the policies and objectives of the Department.

Following closure of the public consultations in January 2009, the agencies have prepared analyses of the responses from the consultation that form the basis of recommendations to the Minister on what fee changes should be made in April.