The Senior Traffic Commissioner has updated his coronavirus (COVID-19) statutory document originally issued on 17 March 2020.
The update issued on 18 June 2020 includes reference to:
- an increase in the maximum time allowed for a period of grace for financial standing an operator can receive from 6 months to 12 months
- more information about in-person tribunal hearings in England from July 2020 (with hearings in Scotland and Wales likely to start a few weeks later as circumstances allow)
Financial standing periods of grace
The maximum period of grace for financial standing an operator can seek has increased.
Previously, it was a maximum of 6 months with the Senior Traffic Commissioner having set a 4 month starting point. The law has been changed to increase that maximum to 12 months with the STC suggesting an initial 6 month starting point. Any decisions about the grant or length of a period of grace will include an assessment of the risk to road safety.
This extension to the law applies to any determination made between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. This gives operators the opportunity to recover their finances during the extended period following the resumption of normal trading as the lockdown eases.
Tell your TC early if you have problems
You should tell your TC if you are experiencing any issue in meeting the financial standing requirement. The condition on your licence gives you a month to notify changes. The TC is likely to be sympathetic and will seek to assist wherever possible, especially given the difficulties arising from COVID-19.
If you can no longer meet the financial standing requirement you are strongly advised to contact the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at Enquiries@otc.gov.uk for advice.
Anyone who fails to do so can expect a TC to require explanations as to why they failed to comply, and it may result in a finding of loss of good repute.
The traffic commissioners have also published two other documents during the outbreak. We recommend you read them: