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Published: 20th March 2020

Response to Covid 19 Advice for Operators – 20 March 2020

On 20 March 2020, the OTC released advice for operators as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak.


The full guidance can be found at on the government website.  A summary is set out below, along with BSA guidance on mothballing your fleet:


Can I temporarily operate more vehicles than authorised to meet an urgent public demand?

  • You need to ask a traffic commissioner to grant a temporary exemption (in writing) from any requirement to hold a standard licence.
  • It is recommended that you seek advice with this to ensure you will be able to persuade the TC to grant approval.


Due to challenging trading conditions, I can no longer meet the requirement to be of the appropriate financial standing?

  • You can request a period of grace from the TC.


I hold a restricted licence and cannot meet the requirement to have sufficient financial resources available due to restrictions on trade.

  • There is no power to grant Periods of Grace to an existing restricted operator.
  • Operators should consider offering an undertaking to the traffic commissioner for a financial check to be carried out in the future and on a specified date.


Due to restrictions on movement, I no longer have access to my operating centre. What steps do I need to take?

  • Operators should request a Period of Grace to operate from an alternative site.


Operational needs require me to operate more vehicles from my operating centre than the current authorisation. I am still within my overall vehicle authorisation.

  • It is recommended that you apply to obtain a grant of a variation using the digital services.
  • Operators should consider submitting a complete application as soon as the need arises and seek an interim direction


I cannot maintain my vehicles in line with the stated intervals that I made a commitment to.

  • Operators should never operate a vehicle in an unsafe condition.
  • You should adopt a risk based approach.
  • Maintenance intervals can be extended in limited situations.


I am a transport manager but am required to self-isolate or I am absent from work through ill health.

  • The operator must notify the traffic commissioner depending upon the length of absence and request a period of grace where necessary.


I, or my transport manager, have an undertaking on my licence to complete training by a date before 30 June 2020, what should I do?

  • You should follow the general Government advice on travel and attendance at events.
  • If you cannot attend a required training event within the period set out in the undertaking you should notify the traffic commissioner as soon as possible.


I have been called to a Public Inquiry or a Driver Conduct hearing, will it go ahead during the coronavirus outbreak?

  • If a public inquiry or driver conduct hearing is postponed all parties will be advised a soon as possible.


I have to mothball my fleet for a period of time, which process should I follow?

Upon mothballing:

  • Empty off vehicle of all sand, stone, cement, water and lubricate all chains and grease points.
  • Download the truck and driver cards
  • Suspend planned maintenance inspections
  • Put a Vehicle Off Road sign in the vehicle
  • Put a VOR document (containing date and odometer reading) in the vehicle folder.
  • Lock away the keys so the vehicle can’t be taken out by accident.
  • Inform TC the fleet is off the road for the foreseeable future by de-specifying vehicles.

During mothballing, once every 2 weeks:

  • Carry out a daily inspection and drive the vehicle around the yard to exercise brakes etc. and record any change in mileage with an explanation of why.


When business re-opens:

  • Inform TC the fleet is back on the road by specifying vehicles
  • Remove the VOR sign from the vehicle
  • Complete a Return to Road document, specifying the date and odometer reading. Place it in the vehicle folder
  • Download vehicle and driver cards
  • Carry out an in depth daily inspection prior to driving on the road
  • Carry out a PMI (6 weekly inspection) before using to carry a load



For further advice, contact Jared Dunbar at Dyne Solicitors on 01829 773 105 or jid@dynesolicitors.co.uk