TC sets out licence tests

Warning to ‘Restricted’PSV operators over’other work’ requirements

Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney says operators using a Restricted O-Licence must apply for a standard O-Licence if minibus work becomes their main occupation.

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He also says that Restricted O-Licence holders are required to monitor their time and income. He has made it clear that he expects operators to apply for a standard national O-Licence if the income from minibus work exceeds their main occupation. Also, they will be required to provide evidence of their occupation throughout the life of their licence.

His message to the industry comes after a number of restricted licence applications were heard at Public Inquiries (PIs). Mr Rooney proposed to refuse the applications, with the offer of a hearing, because they failed to satisfy the main occupation criteria at the application stage. Anyone who applies for a Restricted licence – which gives permission to run a maximum of two vehicles with 9-16 passenger seats – must have another, main occupation, according to the regulations.

Other operations require a standard national or international licence, with those applicants subjected to higher financial tests. They must also be professionally competent, by having a Transport Manager CPC holder nominated on their licence.

Says Mr Rooney: “Fair competition is a key part of my role and one I take seriously. Restricted licences are an option for those who are running minibuses in addition to their main source of income. They do not have to meet the same financial tests as full time operators, do not have to meet the good repute requirement and do not need to employ a transport manager.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of ignorance about the requirements around restricted licences. Providing evidence of a main occupation is essential.

Applicants should look closely at the guidance when putting their paperwork together and decide whether they can meet the criteria – and continue to do so, if the licence is granted.”