Occupation test for restricted PSV operators highlighted
Traffic Commissioner, Kevin Rooney, has highlighted that restricted PSV applicants will be required to provide evidence of their primary occupation throughout the life of their licence. He said he expects operators to apply for a standard national licence if the income from minibus work exceeds their main occupation. His message comes after a number of restricted licence applictions were heard at public inquiry last month. 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 PSV licence must have another, main occupation, according to the relevant regulations.
The applicants, based in Billingham, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough appeared before the regulator at public inquiries. Mr Rooney heard evidence from the five sole traders and one limited company about their proposed operations before explaining the constraints of a restricted licence with respect to their main occupations. Four applicants, three of whom listed their main occupation as taxi work, were granted licences by the Traffic Commissioner. Kevin refused to give authority to one of the applicants because she was unemployed and unable to demonstrate a primary occupation. A further application was withdrawn at public inquiry.
Undertakings were recorded on all of the granted licences; for three of the applicants two of the undertakings related directly to the main occupation criteria. The first of those relates to the occupation itself. The second undertaking concerns the amount of income generated by the minibus operations. Licence holders are required to apply for a standard national licence if their minibus income exceeds that of all other occupations for two consecutive months.
Rooney said, ‘Unfortunately, there is a lot of ignorance about the requirements around restricted licences. Providing evidence of a main occupation is essential, otherwise I can not approve the application. Applicants should look closely at the guidance when putting their paperwork together.’