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New standards onerous - Anderson

More than 80 hauliers from around the Isle of Man packed a meeting in Douglas last night, to hear about plans for a new regime of Operating Licences for goods vehicles.

The Department of Transport says the licensing system will ensure higher standards of maintenance for heavy goods vehicles, and make the Island's roads safer.

The meeting was called to launch a round of consultation on the new regulations and hauliers have until December 17 to give their responses.

Transport Minister David Anderson (pictured) admits the tougher standards may prove onerous to some operators, but told Manx Radio a licensing system was long overdue:

"I think there's a public expectation out there that the Isle of Man HGV trade should be licensed and regulated to the same level as the UK. That is our position at the Department of Transport.

"We want to hold our heads high and say we are as well regulated in the Isle of Man as in the UK and our vehicles can go off Island and be legal as far as the UK is concerned as well."

Hauliers Stuart Blackley and Jonathan Bennett have mixed views about what will be an entirely new regime for the industry.

Mr Blackley told us:

"I agree with it but not in the context that it's put over, because we're not the UK, we are the Isle of Man. The infrastructure is totally different (and) therefore we can not copy the exact requirements that they are wanting us to copy."

Mr Bennett said:

"Most of the haulage people in the Isle of Man are conscientious anyway. Everybody maintains their truck (and) they are tested once a year. You can't just run your truck for a whole year and then go in and test it. You have to maintain it, it's common sense.

"I think it's quite a good thing generally, (but) I don't like the big boot stamp on your head, because it will end up in a mess."

There will be two further meetings for hauliers today, at 10am at Castletown Civic Hall, and at 4pm at the Town Hall in Ramsey.

Visit gov.im/highways/consutlation to download consultation papers.

Story to feature on Wednesday morning's Mandate.

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