Operating Centres and the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012

Under Section 7 of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995, it is an offence to use a place as an Operating Centre without authority from the Traffic Commissioner.

Under normal circumstances, there is a requirement to publish a Notice of Application within 21 days of an Operator’s Licence application or variation application.

However, a traffic commissioner may consider an application to increase the number of authorised vehicles and/or remove or vary conditions or undertakings in relation to an existing Operating Centre without the application being published or advertised if:

  1. The application is for a temporary change which does not extend beyond the London Olympics period. (This begins 4 weeks before the opening ceremony on 27 July 2012 and ends with the 5th day after the paralympic closing ceremony which is on 9 September 2012.)
  2. The variation applied for has a connection with the London Olympics.
  3. There would not be sufficient time to dispose of the application before the beginning of the London Olympics period.
  4. The circumstances in which the application is being made are such that it could not have been made in sufficient time to be disposed of before the beginning of that period.

The Senior Traffic Commissioner has stated that this is not intended to provide a device to circumvent poor planning by an operator.  However, the traffic commissioners recognise that events beyond an operator’s control may arise.  These rules are intended as a contingency arrangement to allow abridged notice applications for a temporary period.

Traffic Commissioners will firstly need to determine that the application is properly made pursuant to Section 16E(1) Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995.  Factors to be considered when making that decision will include:

  1. chronology of events leading to the application;
  2. period for which the variation is required;
  3. reasons why the application was not made earlier;
  4. third party evidence supporting urgent nature of application;
  5. any other relevant evidence.


The above provides a summary of the affects of the Olympic Games to Operating Centres.  However, it is always worth taking formal legal advice on any issues you have.

For advice on any transport law issues, please contact Jared Dunbar at Dyne Solicitors on 01829 773 100.

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