Bri­tain’s big­gest clas­sic or­gan­i­sa­tion snubbed over con­sul­ta­tion tim­ing

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

he De­part­ment for T Trans­port has been crit­i­cised for not mak­ing clas­sic own­ers aware of its lat­est pro­pos­als to re­vamp MoT test­ing for older cars.

It launched a con­sul­ta­tion into whether cars more than 40 years old should be ex­empted al­to­gether – which closes on 2 Novem­ber – but the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs has said it had no no­ti­fi­ca­tion of it be­ing launched, and missed out on the chance to in­form thou­sands of clas­sic own­ers about it through its lat­est news­let­ter.

The Fed­er­a­tion says: ‘Hav­ing ad­vised us at meet­ings at the DfT that we would be fur­ther con­sulted prior to any pub­li­ca­tion, the DfT went ahead and pub­lished without even giv­ing us prior warn­ing of the date let alone car­ry­ing out the prom­ise of fur­ther con­sul­ta­tions with us. The tim­ing of the re­lease was par­tic­u­larly un­for­tu­nate as it came after the new news­let­ter had al­ready gone to press.’

The con­sul­ta­tion out­lines five ways in which the UK can im­ple­ment the EU Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive, with the fifth op­tion propos­ing all cars over the age of 30 are ex­empted from

‘ We missed out on the chance to in­form thou­sands of clas­sic car own­ers’ FED­ER­A­TION SPOKESMAN

test­ing. CCW strongly dis­agrees with the pro­pos­als, and ar­gues that all clas­sics should be tested an­nu­ally.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Geoff Lan­caster says the move sur­prised him. ‘ We were un­der the im­pres­sion there would be more dis­cus­sion on the is­sue be­fore the con­sul­ta­tion was launched, and that we would be made aware that it was be­ing launched,’ he says. ‘ We’ve been taken out of the blue as much as ev­ery­body else.’

The De­part­ment for Trans­port was un­able to re­spond to the Fed­er­a­tion’s claims di­rectly, but is en­cour­ag­ing clas­sic own­ers to have their say in the con­sul­ta­tion.

DfT spokesman Jack Grif­fith says: ‘ We have some of the safest roads in the world and cut­ting the num­ber of ac­ci­dents is our top pri­or­ity. MoT test­ing is a key part of main­tain­ing safer ve­hi­cles and keep­ing dan­ger­ous ve­hi­cles off the road.

‘Re­search shows that clas­sic ve­hi­cles are in­volved in pro­por­tion­ately far fewer ac­ci­dents than their mod­ern equiv­a­lents and the num­ber of col­li­sions caused by me­chan­i­cal de­fects is ex­tremely low.’

Sir Greg Knight MP, chair­man of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group says: ‘I wel­come the fact that the DfT is con­sult­ing on th­ese pro­pos­als. The mod­ern MoT test is in­creas­ingly un­suit­able for clas­sic cars. It makes sense to move to­wards one date for defin­ing a his­toric ve­hi­cle for tax­a­tion and MoT pur­poses and the rolling 40-year ex­emp­tion is one that I sup­port.’

The Govern­ment’s pro­pos­als can be read in full on­line. David Simis­ter ❚ tinyurl.com/CCW­mot­mad­ness

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