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New O Licence guidance

Feb 07, 2016
In mid December 2015 the Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Beverly Bell released revised statutory documents relating to Operator’s Licensing. Ruth Waring from Labyrinth Logistics Consulting Ltd advises commercial vehicle operators to acquaint themselves with the revised guidance.

Revised statutory vehicle operator licensing documents – which were released by the Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain’s office with a lack of fanfare in the run-up to Christmas – will make it easier for traffic commissioners (TCs) to clamp down on those operators and drivers who fail to comply with the myriad requirements of the O Licence. 

At the same time, the documents are expected to deliver what the Senior Traffic Commissioner describes as “a more efficient and effective licensing regime that helps responsible operators”.  

In all, the updated documentation runs to some fifteen individual volumes of Guidance devoted to clarifying the expectations of traffic commissioners when it comes to the conduct of both vehicle operators and drivers.  

For example, a clear description of the transport manager’s role - outlining what transport managers are expected to do to ensure they stay on the right side of the law – is included.  

This is the first time that the transport manager’s responsibilities within his or her organization have been specifically defined and could, in theory, open the door to more prosecutions of employees who are shown to not have been discharging their duties in a manner compliant with the guidance laid down in the documentation.  

Driver conduct requirements are also updated and, significantly, the documentation highlights the fact that drivers can no longer use the excuse that they had been following their employer’s instructions in an attempt to avoid their personal responsibilities.  

Altogether, Beverley Bell’s team published fifteen statutory documents, offering guidance on areas as diverse as what constitutes a different legal entity from the perspective of O licensing and financial record keeping; only two do not relate to freight operations.  

While the TCs’ primary aim in revising the documentation is to target those firms and drivers who put road safety at risk, all operators are advised to familiarize themselves with the amendments in order to understand how the changes may impact on their business procedures.  

An independent and concise overview of all of the relevant changes can be viewed at:










Appropriate Financial Standing requirements reduced for 2016 

Appropriate Financial Standing requirements for 2016 have been reduced for standard licence holders to £6,650 for the first vehicle and £3,700 for each subsequent vehicle. These figures are down from £7,000 and £3,900 in 2015.  For restricted licence holders there is no change with the levels remaining at £3,100 and £1,700. 

Holders of standard and restricted operator licences for both goods and public service vehicles must satisfy the requirement of appropriate financial standing. The purpose of this is to ensure that they have the financial resources available so that its vehicles are safe to use on public roads, its passengers and other road users are not put at risk by them and that it can compete fairly with other operators. 

An operator can show financial standing by money in the bank which is capable of being used, an overdraft at his disposal in the sense that there is a balance undrawn before the limit is reached, debts which are obtainable because they are due and likely to be easy to collect and assets which can be readily sold without any adverse effect on the ability of the business to generate money, should it be needed. 


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