HC Deb 19 July 1996 vol 281 cc681-2W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the licences currently issued by his Department, indicating their function and the annual administrative costs for each. [37817]

Mr. Norris

Licences are issued by the Department in respect of the following:

Driving licences—to ensure that drivers of cars, motorcycles, goods vehicles, public service vehicles meet the necessary standard of competency and maintain standards of road safety.

Goods vehicle and public service vehicle operator licences—To ensure operators have sufficient financial provisions to maintain their vehicles properly, according to minimum safety standards.

Testing and examining vehicles—MOT examiners/ tachograph testing centres—To ensure that vehicles are maintained according to the minimum safety and environmental standards, the latter following the recent requirement to test emissions, and that tachographs are properly installed.

Approved training bodies—learner motorcycle testing—To ensure bodies have the facilities and expertise to provide instruction of learner motorcyclists.

Approval of business to train for carrying dangerous goods—EU requirement which allows businesses with suitable premises and staff to run their own training courses.

In-vehicle driver information system—allows access by private companies to public sector infrastructure, which would otherwise require special permission from each highway authority.

Street works—allows any business to dig up the highway, other than utilities, which already have such powers.

Marine licences—to ensure an appropriate level of competency for ship officers and crew.

Although not issued by this Department, the Rail Regulator issues licences that allow businesses to operate networks, passenger services, stations and depots. Operators of stations, trains and networks must normally have an accepted safety case before the regulator will grant a licence for operation. The Civil Aviation Authority also issues various licences which affect air operators, carriers and travel organisers. A full list of its licences can be found in its publication, CAP 393. Similarly, taxi and private hire vehicles licences are issued by the Public Carriage Office in London, and district councils outside London.

Central records are not maintained of the administrative costs of the licensing regimes, but in setting the licence fees, the Department has regard to the Treasury guidelines on fees and charges which require the recovery of costs.

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