A new agency with responsibility for maintaining vehicle standards has been launched as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Transport Minister Robert Goodwill announced recently.
The new agency, which employs 4,600 people all over the UK, replaces the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) with responsibilities for setting, testing and enforcing driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain.
Robert Goodwill said: “In June the department announced that DSA and VOSA would merge to form a new agency. This decision was made after the motoring services strategy consultation, and is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to put customers and businesses at the heart of its services.
“The two organisations have a history of working closely together and the merger is an opportunity for the DVSA to provide even better and more efficient customer service to motorists and commercial operators. I fully support the new agency and look forward to seeing the DVSA take shape from April 2014.”
There will be a gradual introduction of the new agency name ahead of the formal launch in April 2014, with no change to the level or quality of services during the transition period.
DSA and VOSA will be incorporated within the new agency and the new branding will reflect this until their services and trading funds are brought together over the next financial year.
DSA improves road safety in Great Britain by setting standards for driving and motorcycling, and for the education and training of drivers and riders. The agency also carries out driving and riding tests.
VOSA provides a range of licensing, testing and enforcement services with the aim of improving the roadworthiness standards of vehicles, ensuring the compliance of operators and drivers with road traffic legislation, and supporting the independent Traffic Commissioners.
Ministers announced the merger of the Driving Standards Agency and Vehicle and Operating Services Agency on 20 June 2013 following a three-month consultation.
The chief executive of both agencies is Alastair Peoples, who will become the chief executive of the single agency.
The DVSA will have a broad range of responsibilities, including processing applications for licences to operate lorries and buses, operating testing schemes for all vehicles, and enforcing the law to ensure vehicles comply with legal standards and regulations.
The agency will also enforce drivers’ hours and licensing requirements, provide training and advice for commercial operators, investigate vehicle accidents, defects and recalls, and run tests for instructors of large goods vehicles, as well as driver trainers.
To ensure costs are kept as low as possible there will be a phased approach to the introduction of the new branding over the next financial year, where items will be replaced when stocks run out.