DVSA pleased with NGT contract sign up rate
The DVLA said it is very pleased with the number of authorised testing facilities (ATFs) signing up to the new contract that incorporates provisions for its Next Generation Testing (NGT) model.
The contract has so far been offered only to ATFs in those regions where NGT has already been rolled out.
It has been signed by 11 out of 41 ATFs in south Wales and Herefordshire, where the NGT pilot scheme was held; and four out of 24 ATFs in South Yorkshire, where it was subsequently launched.
The DVSA has suggested, however, that a further 15 ATFs in the former region and a further 14 in the latter are in the pipeline for signing up.
The DVSA plans to follow this with the North West Midlands in September; the East Midlands and North Wales in October; East Anglia and West Lancashire in November; and Birmingham and the North Midlands in December.
All other areas, except central Scotland, south London and north Scotland, where NGT will be introduced in the first quarter of 2017, are scheduled to be brought into the scheme in 2016.
The DVSA has confirmed that of its own original 92 operational testing facilities, 46 have already ceased testing. A further 12 sites are earmarked to cease testing during this financial year.
The agency has also confirmed to commercialmotor.com that it is still in discussions with union Prospect about the new NGT-related contracts being offered to the testing staff it supplies to ATFs and said it would “continue to engage with Prospect to ensure we can avoid any disruption to customers”.
The two sides have been in discussion over new contracts for the DVSA’s testing staff since the agency agreed to further talks in late May.
Last week, however, the ATF Operators Association said that it remained insecure about the availability of testing staff in the light of the dispute between the DVSA and Prospect over the new contract.