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:

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 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.

For further advice, contact Jared Dunbar at Dyne Solicitors on 01829 773 105 or