ISLES MP Alistair Carmichael has condemned as “unacceptable” plans by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to remove the testing of candidates for motorcycle and heavy goods vehicle licences to mainland Scotland.
Mr Carmichael was commenting after meeting DSA chief executive Rosemary Thew to discuss the plans.
After the meeting he said: “The DSA is planning to make major changes to the motorbike and HGV tests next March. For this they are building new test centres.
“Their current plans are for people in Orkney to be tested in Wick. They are looking for a site to be used in Shetland but if they are not able to identify one then they too will have to sit the tests on the mainland.
“In my view these plans are unacceptable. They will require unreasonable amounts of travel and may well result in fewer people taking the tests – especially the motorcycle test. It is highly ironic that this is being done in the name of improved road safety.”
Meanwhile local driving instructor Petur Petursson has recently qualified to instruct in Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED).
With the high cost of fuel it has never been more important for companies to consider how their drivers could improve the fuel consumption of their vehicles.
By implementing a fuel management programme, a fleet’s fuel consumption can typically be reduced by at least five per cent, with an equivalent cost saving. Use of safe and fuel efficient driving techniques as part of a fuel management process will contribute to this fuel saving.
Reducing fuel consumption by 1,000 litres per year will save an operator £1,200 a year per vehicle (assuming a price of 130 pence per litre, excluding VAT) and save 2.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
For most road transport operations fuel accounts for at least 30 per cent of operating costs.
SAFED for HGVs has been designed to improve the safe and fuel efficient driving techniques of HGV drivers. The SAFED training programme has been developed specifically to enable vehicle operators to implement driver training within the road freight industry. It provides training and development for existing HGV drivers through instruction relating to vehicle craft and road craft.
For more information on fuel efficient driving contact Petur Petursson on (01595) 694843 or log on to freightbestpractice.org.uk