Still no clarity on 19.5t relaxation but ‘no Brexit impact’, says CPT

Operators and manufacturers remain unclear about when the relaxation of the maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) for suitable two-axle PCVs to 19.5t will occur, despite the EU Directive concerning its adoption having been issued in April 2015.

Two years are allowed from the date of issue of a Directive to implementation, but it is understood that ‘implementation’ encompasses commencement measures, and thus there is no firm date in the near future by which the relaxation must be introduced.

A poorly-publicised DfT consultation closed on 2 November. The Confederation of Passenger Transport submitted a response advocating the relaxation.

Operational and Technical Executive John Taylor says that concerns that the DfT will be able to choose the additional tolerance’s axle spread – and potentially ‘allocate’ it all to the rear axle – are unfounded.

“Modern two-axle coaches already have a design GVW of 19.5t and the spread of that can be seen from the chassis builder’s plate; in essence, axle weights are not changing. It is only these vehicles that will be eligible for the GVW increase.”

While the Directive allows for weight relaxation only to apply to PCVs on international journeys, it is considered highly likely that when introduced, it will apply across the board.

“When the relaxation comes into force, operators who wish to take advantage will need to apply to the chassis manufacturer for a new builder’s plate, and also submit a VTP5 form to the DVLA as the increase is a notifiable alteration.”

Mr Taylor says that the UK’s departure from the EU will not affect implementation of the Directive as the government will continue to honour EU legislation until that point.

There is no suggestion of an increase in gross weight for three-axle PCVs.

Read the Directive (EU) 2015/719 here