CHRIS GRAYLING: WHY I BACK THE MoT EX­EMP­TION

Trans­port Min­is­ter be­lieves re­mov­ing clas­sics from an­nual tests will pro­tect them from a driver­less fu­ture

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - David Simis­ter

Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, Chris Grayling, has spo­ken of his sup­port for con­tro­ver­sial plans to re­move the MoT re­quire­ment for tax-ex­empt clas­sics from next year – be­cause he be­lieves that it will guar­an­tee clas­sic own­ers’ long-term free­dom.

The her­itage-lov­ing Trans­port Min­is­ter – whose first car was a Ford Capri MkI – says that while the Depart­ment for Trans­port is openly pre­par­ing for a fu­ture dominated by driver­less ve­hi­cles, he is in favour of clas­sic own­ers be­ing al­lowed to con­tinue driv­ing, and says that the Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to keep­ing older cars on Bri­tain’s roads.

He says: ‘I can as­sure you that as we plan for a rev­o­lu­tion­ary fu­ture we are not los­ing sight of the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing the her­itage of the mo­tor in­dus­try.

‘That’s why we have taken the steps we have around the new reg­u­la­tions back in Septem­ber.’

Trans­port Sec­re­tary, Chris Grayling, has spo­ken out in favour of tax-ex­empt ve­hi­cles also be­ing ex­empted from road­wor­thi­ness tests – be­cause it will guar­an­tee the free­dom of us­ing them.

The gov­ern­ment min­is­ter, speak­ing at a meet­ing of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group at­tended by CCW, ar­gued that in a fu­ture where au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles will be the norm, eas­ing re­stric­tions on clas­sic own­ers would help to en­sure their con­tin­ued use.

Mr Grayling – whose first car was a Ford Capri MkI – ar­gued that while the Gov­ern­ment is plan­ning for a fu­ture trans­port sys­tem that will in­creas­ingly use au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, he be­lieved that there will con­tinue to be an ap­petite from the public for ve­hi­cles that can be driven, par­tic­u­larly clas­sics. He said: ‘I am very pleased that we’ve taken steps in the last few weeks to adopt the rules to pro­vide greater pro­tec­tion for those who drive his­toric ve­hi­cles. ‘I can as­sure you that as we plan for a rev­o­lu­tion­ary fu­ture, we are not los­ing sight of the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing the her­itage of the mo­tor in­dus­try. That’s why we have taken the steps we have around the new reg­u­la­tions back in Septem­ber. We’re mak­ing sure that we can pro­tect what is a great en­thu­si­asm and a great hobby – and the free­dom to drive around lis­ten­ing to Pink Floyd while driv­ing a his­toric ve­hi­cle! It’s a very im­por­tant part of Bri­tain’s her­itage.

‘This Gov­ern­ment will do ev­ery­thing it can to sup­port this hobby. Peo­ple love see­ing clas­sic cars on Bri­tain’s roads.’

Mr Grayling’s com­ments were wel­comed by group chair, Sir Greg Knight MP, who has pre­vi­ously voiced his sup­port for MoT ex­emp­tion, say­ing that the an­nual test is ‘ be­com­ing pro­gres­sively ir­rel­e­vant for his­toric ve­hi­cles’. He de­scribed the min­is­ter as ‘a great friend’ of the clas­sic ve­hi­cle move­ment.’

Chris Grayling, sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, and MP for Ep­som. Pre ’77 clas­sics like this 1971 Tri­umph Stag will be MoT ex­empt from May 2018.

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