Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill [Lords]

Written evidence submitted by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (HPTRB04)

1 Background

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs ("The Federation") is the umbrella body for 550 member clubs in the UK with a total membership of over a quarter of a million historic vehicle owners and enthusiasts. Interest in historic vehicles sustains economic activity worth £5.5 billion annually to the UK economy and supports the employment of nearly 35,000 people.

Vehicles owned by members of the Federation include historic vehicles of many kinds, including cars, motorcycles, buses, coaches, lorries, vans, utility vehicles, military vehicles, tractors and other agricultural vehicles and steam engines. Federation members restore and preserve these vehicles for their historic interest, exhibit them at exhibitions, shows, community fetes, etc.

This Bill is of particular interest to the small but culturally significant number of our members who make use of trailers in the pursuance of their activities, including particularly transportation of historic vehicles and their accessories and supplies to and from heritage events.

Many of the trailers used for this purpose may be thought of as "historic" in their own right, having been built more than forty years ago and thus, if they were powered, being entitled to be included in the "historic" taxation class of registration. A proportion of the total will date from years prior to 1960.

These historic trailers will have been built to standards which make modern day testing difficult, but are owned by enthusiasts who are aware that they need to take proper steps to ensure the overall roadworthiness of both their vehicles and trailers. These trailers are used for small overall mileages and when in use travel at relatively slow speeds.

The Federation is conscious that the consequence of any Act resulting from the Bill will necessarily be followed by the passage or amendment of Regulations which will themselves be subject to consultation, as Part 3 of the Bill specifically requires.

Therefore the Federation considers it is of most use to the Committee if the submission can be brief, covering points of concern only at a high level.

2 Submission

As a consequence to Federation would make the following two submissions.

1. In respect of Part 1 of the Bill, the Federation would request that the operator of a historic trailer used solely for non-commercial purposes related to the preservation of the trailer and associated historic vehicles , whether or not that use includes the carrying of loads also related to historic and preservation purposes, should not be required to hold an operator’s licence pursuant to Section 11 of the Bill.

2. In respect of Part 2 of the Bill The Federation would request that consideration be given, in order to provide guidance to the drafters of future Regulations, to

a. inserting into Section 13 in respect of trailers a requirement that any fees and taxation should be levied in a way consistent with the current "historic" taxation class for other types of vehicles and that no Vehicle Excise Duty should be levied on trailers which qualify on age grounds as being in the "historic" taxation class, and

b. inserting into Section 14 in respect of trailers a requirement that any provision regarding roadworthiness testing of trailers, trailers which are over forty years old, which have not been substantially changed within the previous thirty years and which are used to carry loads only for the express purpose of attending and involvement in historic and heritage activities should be exempt from such testing.

3. If these proposals might be thought to be too prescriptive in an Act constituting enabling legislation, a requirement that the matters at least be considered might be achieved by inserting

a. as Subclause 13(2)(j), "provide for exemption from taxation of certain trailers on the basis of their age", and

b. as Subclause 14(2) (f), "the exemption of certain trailers on the basis of their age or other attributes."

The Federation trusts that this Memorandum will be of use to the Committee in identifying these issues at an early stage in any progress towards certifying and licensing the operation of trailers.

May 2018

 

Prepared 21st May 2018