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Lorries: Testing

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials have had with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency on changes to mechanisms and fees for goods vehicle testing. (264728)

[holding answer 19 March 2009]: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is responsible for setting and administering testing fees for goods vehicles and their operators.

Since VOSA is established as a Trading Fund it is required to set fees each year at a level to meet their outgoings. On the 6 November 2008, following discussion with Department for Transport officials and myself, VOSA issued a public consultation on changes to the level and structure of its fees for the testing of goods vehicles and operators, to come into effect in April of this year.

Discussions with the agency included analysis to ensure that:

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

there was sound and appropriate assumptions upon which the agency's financial forecasts are based; and

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

Following closure of the public consultation on 29 January 2009, the agency has undertaken analyses of the responses from the consultation. The agency has since held further discussion with Department officials to consider its recommendations on fees in light of responses to the consultation and of direct discussion between representatives of trade associations and Department officials.

The agency's final recommendations will be the subject of discussion with me in the next few weeks so that changes to fees can be implemented in April.