The National Traction Engine Trust

Further to representations made to the DfT and DVLA by the NTET has now been invited, along with other interested parties including the FBHVC, to attend a meeting on 3rd March 2010 at the DVLA Swansea to discuss the implications and available options relating to the withdrawal of 'B' category licence exemptions as related to "goods vehicles propelled by steam". These changes are proposed to be implemented by the DfT/DVLA as part of Directive 2006/126/EC.

The effect of withdrawal of these exemptions, as far as we can tell, is that the 'G' category licence group will be expanded to include all steam propelled road going vehicles and a new 'specifically designed' competence test will be required to be undertaken on an appropriate vehicle. If not successfully challenged these arrangements are scheduled to come into force in mid-January 2013. They will not apply however to anyone holding a 'B' category licence before the implementation date.

Whilst many of today's owners and drivers may not be affected by the changes the youngsters joining our hobby certainly will be and so we have a dilemma. Would any safety minded organisation object to a test of competence for vehicles being used on modern roads or should we resist the removal of the exemptions on the basis of cost implications and loss of a freedom based on the preservation of our heritage?

In order that I am able to cover all of the issues surrounding the proposed removal of the exemptions, and not withstanding that I have already made strong representation to the DVLA and to the DfT, I would be pleased to receive any additional comments and suggestions from drivers and owners of traction engines, whether or not they are members of the NTET, that I can take with me to the meeting. Please email me at dvla-response@ntet.co.uk or write to David Smith, Head of NTET Technical Services, c/o Yew Tree Cottage, 98 The Ridgeway, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire. B96 6NA before 26th February 2010.

David Smith
Technical Services

17 Feb 2010