HC Deb 26 March 1985 vol 76 cc111-2W
Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce the new conditions of appointment for authorised examiners under the MOT testing scheme.

Mrs. Chalker

From 13 May 1985 applications for new authorisations for MOT testing will again be accepted following the ending of the embargo on applications introduced on 5 May 1983.

Applicants and existing examiners will have to meet more stringent conditions of appointment, in line with the Department's aim of raising the standard of the MOT testing scheme.

This is to be achieved through higher standards of entry to the scheme. Applicants will have to satisfy the Department as to their repute and financial standing; stiffer requirements will apply to premises and equipment specifications, and better working conditions will be required for the tester. There is to be increased security for test certificates, and provision will have to be made for motorists to observe the test being carried out.

New applicants will be required to meet the new conditions in full. Existing examiners will have five years in which to comply, but requirements on pit dimensions and guard rails will not apply to them. Where changes in ownership of a testing station take place, the new conditions will apply after one year. Existing examiners are to have one year in which to provide improved security arrangements.

In order that these new conditions should not reduce the availability of MOT testing in rural areas, the existing testing stations in "remote rural areas" will be extended to cover stations doing fewer than 500 tests a year and more than 10 miles by road from the nearest station which meets, or will be required to meet, the full conditions of appointment. Existing examiners in this category will be able to represent to my Department their case for exemption from those of the new conditions which it would be impracticable for them to meet.