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Government Motoring Departments to Merge

The government has announced that the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Driving Standards Agency (DSA) are to merge. The announcement was made by roads minister, Stephen Hammond on Thursday 20th of June. For the first time, motoring services covering both private cars and goods vehicles will come under the jurisdiction of a single government body.

The government has announced that the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Driving Standards Agency (DSA) are to merge. The announcement was made by roads minister, Stephen Hammond on Thursday 20th of June. For the first time, motoring services covering both private cars and goods vehicles will come under the jurisdiction of a single government body. The DSA sets standards for driving and motorcycling and manages the education and training of drivers and riders. They also administer practical and theory driving tests. VOSA, meanwhile, manages the licensing and testing of vehicles, administering the MOT test and other HGV checks.

The new, single, agency will launch sometime in 2014, with an interim board under the guidance of VOSA chief executive, Alastair Peoples, to oversee things in the meantime. The DSA chief executive, Rosemary Thew looks set to lose out in the reorganisation and will leave her post at the end of this month. As yet, no new name has been released for the combined agency. Mr Hammond explained the thinking behind the decision, saying: "We need to make sure that we continue to keep pace with customers' needs and deliver services in a way which is both convenient and cost effective. These changes will put customers at the heart of the services they rely on and allow for a more coherent approach to service delivery. By bringing testing and standards services into a single organisation we will make life easier for customers and potentially reduce the fees we charge. Staff at the DSA and VOSA do a great job in delivering for customers every day and we will work closely with them to support them through these changes."

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) gave a qualified welcome to the news, with RHA chief executive, Geoff Dunning, responding: "This move makes obvious sense to an industry that is surrounded by regulations from a number of regulatory bodies. However, we are concerned that this is another case of the devil being in the detail and we would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the negotiations as to how the new system will actually work. We have always had a good relationship with both the DSA and VOSA and are confident that this will continue with the new, single, regulatory body." It seems that the RHA may feel that the move is yet another example of government cut backs and may not in itself lead to an improvement in the quality of services being delivered. British motorists will have to wait and see.

 

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