Following a four-year hiatus, applications from prospective authorised testing facilities (ATFs) may again be submitted for consideration, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced.
The application process was discontinued in 2017, to enable the DVSA to allocate the resources necessary to administer to existing ATFs.
Facilities may now apply for authorisation if they meet any of the following five criteria:
The ATF is relocating to alternative premises in the same geographical area;
The ATF already has ‘approval in principle’ by the DVSA;
The proposed location of the ATF is an area in which there is a notable shortage of such facilities;
The ATF will be located in Southern England, and will offer testing of fully-laden fuel tankers, or ADR testing;
The ATF will, by its location and/or other features, improve efficiency for HGV operators (for example, by reducing journey times).
Neil Barlow, the DVSA’s head of vehicle policy and engineering, said on the matter:
“This is the first step towards opening up the market for new ATFs, thereby increasing competition and improving the testing service to heavy goods vehicle operators. We’ve listened to the industry and the outcome of the review. This is an important first step in improving our service – and we will move swiftly to do more.”
Official guidance on initiating ATF applications can be found here.