Are Operator Licence Application Processing Times Improving?

We know all too well the time it takes for your operator licence to be granted or varied can be very frustrating. So how long on average does it take for an application to be processed? And are processing times improving?

The below table illustrates the improvement year on year for processing times of goods applications and PSV applications. You can see on average there has been a reduction of nearly 2 working days for goods applications with no public inquiry and a reduction in just over 17 working days for PSV applications with no public inquiry.
Goods Applications (no PI)
Goods Applications (with PI)
PSV Applications (no PI)
PSV Applications (with PI)
July 2018 – June 2019
39.88 working days
140.08 working days
68.13 working days
152.94 working days
July 2019 – June 2020
38.01 working days
136.84 working days
50.52 working days
141.66 working days

The above figures are taken from data recorded by the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain and it is clear from their Annual Report to the Secretary of State 2019-2020 commissioners take the issue of processing times very seriously. For example, the report states, “at the very least service users require swift and efficient processing of applications” and commissioners are “aware of some cases where applications were going un-processed for months”. This is further supported by the target commissioners have set to reduce application processing times for new licences and variations to existing licences to an average of 35 working days by 31 March 2021.

The report gives some credit for the success in reducing processing times to the initial referral of all open applications older than 6 months to a commissioner on a monthly basis for review. This approach now applies to all open applications older than 4 months, and in the future, there is hope this approach will be followed for applications older than 3 months. Given that COVID-19 may have slowed down processing times, operators may have to wait longer for their applications to be determined.

Although the time it takes for your application to be processed is something to bear in mind, it is also important to recognise if an application is not filled in correctly this can result in even longer delays. This is where Dyne Solicitors Ltd can help you.

We can help you to complete and submit an operator licence application. We appreciate this may sound relatively straight forward but the application form is full of potential pitfalls and it is better to have the support of an experienced solicitor who understands what might cause an application to be refused or lead to it being called to a Public Inquiry.

Click here to visit our website and read more about operator licencing applications.