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FTA welcomes relaxation of driver licensing for alternatively-fuelled vans

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has applauded the announcement that licence regulations are to be relaxed for drivers of some alternatively-fuelled vans.

Currently, drivers with category B (car) licences are permitted to drive vans which weigh up to 3.5 tonnes. However, electric and hybrid vans of a comparable size must carry a large battery pack, making them slightly heavier.

However this week (29 March) the government announced that it would seek agreement from the EU for drivers with category B licences to be permitted to drive alternatively-fuelled vans weighing up to 4.25 tonnes.

FTA, which represents more than 17,000 logistics businesses moving goods and services across the country, consulted its members on the proposal and they were largely in favour of the change.  It follows news that operators of alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes will also be exempt from HGV operator licensing, as long as they only operate domestically.

FTA’s environment policy manager, Becki Kite, believes the licensing change will encourage more firms to consider the move to alternatively-fuelled vehicles: “FTA is delighted the government has listened to the logistics industry and taken this positive step to make it easier for transport and freight companies to operate electric vehicles.  This will make it cheaper and easier for firms to include alternatively-powered vehicles in their fleets.  It is an excellent example of how the government can use regulatory adjustments to help our industry implement more energy-efficient working practices,” she said.

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