Committee Challenges Department on Delays to Implementing Legislation

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 14 November 2011

Reference: ENV 04/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Environment has expressed its frustration at the possibility of delays to implementing the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act (NI) 2010 by the Department of the Environment.

Committee Chair Anna Lo MLA said: "In June 2010 the Department told the Committee it would have the Act fully implemented by April 2012. However, at our meeting last week the Department advised that there is now a risk that this may be delayed.

"The legislation was first reviewed by the Assembly in 2008 and it received full support. Members believe it will contribute significantly to improving road safety in Northern Ireland as vehicles would need to be checked for roadworthiness much more regularly.

"The Committee is concerned about the level of failure rate of Heavy Goods Vehicles, not only at first test but also on retest, and the possible impact this has on the safety of our roads. This legislation would help address this. We have also been told it could help tackle freight crime, such as smuggling, which costs the industry and Government millions of pounds.

"This is not the first time we have challenged the Department about delays to implementing legislation. In July we also raised concerns about delays to implementing the 2008 Taxis Act. We would like to see the Department placing both these pieces of legislation high on their priority list."

ENDS

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