Super MoT developments may lead to bike exemption

The latest discussions within the EU Transport Council of Ministers have resulted in suggested revisions to the Super MoT proposals and these include exempting all motorcycles from the new rules.

The meeting on 3rd Dec continued the discussions started when they met 29th Oct, but there is a long way to go with the negotiations as the EU Parliamentary Committee is yet make its recommendations and then both these bodies and the Commission will need to agree final text.

The UK government recently invited MAG and other organisations representing groups who will be affected by the European Commission’s proposals for an EU-wide Super-MoT to discuss concerns and developments.  Since then the Council of Europe (the governments of the member states) has rejected all of the measures that MAG(UK) has been campaigning against. Don’t count your chickens just yet, but the direction of travel has turned in our favour…

The UK government position on RWT reflects MAG’s position and our response to the DfT’s recent consultation: all of our concerns are shared by the DfT with, for the most part, support from other EU member states.

  • The Council of the member states governments have rejected testing for ALL kinds of bikes and for trailers under 3.5 tonnes.  Five years after the new rules become law, the Commission will have to present a report assessing whether two- and three-wheeled vehicles should be included in future.
  • The UK and other member states have “roundly ridiculed” the Commission for relying on a claim that defects were relevant in 8% of bike collisions.  Member states are generally very unhappy about the Commission’s failure to present evidence (either at all, or of decent quality) to justify its recent proposals.
  • The member states agree with us that RWT should only be about the safety of vehicles and NOT be linked to enforcing Type-Approval, the complications this would cause for older or modified vehicles are too great.
  • The UK is working with other governments to ensure member states can manage their own affairs and minimise the impacts of future changes, insisting on a more flexible Directive rather than the hard-and-fast Regulation.
  • The list of new equipment demanded by the Commission (eg; noise meters or brake fluid and shock absorber testing equipment) and cost has been roughly halved and there are moves to reduce this further.

  • Other requirements threatening the long-term existence of MoT stations that are part of repair and retail shops have been rejected.
  • The requirement to carry an RWT certificate on the vehicle appears to have been dropped.
  • Lowering the age at which vehicles can be exempted to 30 years old will be an option, but subject to less confusing requirements than proposed by the Commission.
  • The removal of trailers (<3,500kg laden) from the RWT proposals means that all bike/trike trailers would escape the need to be MoT’d and registered at DVLA.
  • Vehicles found to ‘dangerous’ are prohibited from the road in the UK; the Commission appears to be back-tracking on its proposal to go a step further and de-register them, requiring the UK to change its way of registering vehicles.

Although the news is generally very positive, there is a long way to go yet and no guarantee that we will win on all points.

The Commission has not accepted these criticisms or the changes demanded by the member states; it appears the Commission will have to give in but in the meantime they are trying to salvage as much as they can.

The European Parliament has started to consider the original proposal.  The EP is represented by its Transport & Tourism Committee (TRAN), which has several members who are MEPs from the UK (including its Chairman).

A vote in Parliament will take place next year, probably mid-late 2013.  We need to keep in touch with our representatives in the European Parliament, especially members of the relevant committee (‘TRAN’) to ensure they support the Council amendments.

On current estimates the new rules would apply from 2017, but there would be a further five years allowed to make any changes at MoT stations that do affect bikes and trikes, if they are eventually included.