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Government to reduce red tape for motorists

The Government will scrap or improve 142 road transport regulations in a bid to reduce the amount of red tape for motorists.

The bigggest changes include:

- Drivers will no longer have to hold a paper counterpart of their driving licence by 2015
- Drivers will not have to annually renew SORN notices
- Hard-copies of V5C vehicle registration certificates for fleet operators will only be issued when needed, with the potential to be rolled out to private motorists

Transport secretary Justine Greening said: “Motorists shouldn’t have to keep numerous bits of paper just to prove they can drive and have bought insurance – we live in digital age and we need to embrace that.

"Reducing the number of rules and regulations in our life is absolutely vital to removing barriers to economic growth and increasing individual freedoms.

“This whole process just proves there’s so much sitting on our statute books that at the very least needs a good spring clean or can be scrapped entirely."

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: "I'm delighted that so many motoring regulations will be scrapped or improved, particularly those that affect business.

"The Red Tape Challenge has built up real momentum since it was launched in April.

“Overall, of over 1,200 regulations considered so far, we have agreed to scrap or improve well over 50%.”

The Retail Motor Industry welcomes the decision to reduce red tap.

RMI director Sue Robinson said: "The RMI has lobbied on many of the regulations included in the consultation and feel the changes are a step in the right direction.

"However we hope that further regulations, such as the replacement registration plate regulation that burdens both the consumer and the MoT station, are either scraped or simplified in the near future.

“We urge the DfT to ensure that new systems and infrastructure are put in place before the changes come into play to ensure our members businesses can continue to run smoothly.”

Other proposed changes to road transport regulations include:

• Removing the need for an insurance certificate. The Department for Transport will work with the insurance industry on removing the need for motorists to have to hold an insurance certificate.

• Abolishing the requirement for drivers to prove they have insurance when applying for tax meaning 600,000 more people will be able to tax their car online. This has been made possible by new checks of existing databases for insurance under new Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules. The DVLA's records are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to identify registered keepers of vehicles that appear to have no insurance.

• The Government will look at experience in other countries on driver Certificates of Professional Competence (CPC) - the qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. In particular, to see if it could remove the need for some sectors, such as farmers who drive stock to market, from needing a CPC.

• Local authorities will now have to ensure business interests are properly considered as part of any future proposed Workplace Parking Levy scheme. They must show they have properly and effectively consulted local businesses, have addressed any proper concerns raised and secured support from the local business community.

• Abolishing the regulations on the treatment of lost property on buses. Bus companies currently have to wait 48 hours before they can throw away perishable items left on the bus.

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