Today the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel is publishing its report on the Minister for Infrastructure’s plans to introduce vehicle road worthiness testing.
The proposals were prompted by concerns that once the United Kingdom leaves the EU, this could affect Jersey motorists being able to drive in Europe. As proposed, the solution to this is for Jersey to sign up to the United Nations Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and introduce vehicle roadworthiness testing. The Panel has concluded that whilst there could be hindrance for some Jersey motorists wishing to drive in Europe post-Brexit, the scale of the impact is still largely unknown.
The Panel’s review of the proposals found, amongst other matters, that:
- The only option available to Jersey which would entirely guarantee free circulation for Jersey motorists across all of Europe post-Brexit, is for Jersey to sign up to the United Nations Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
- The introduction of vehicle testing has the potential to bring improvements to road safety, along with environmental benefits to improve air quality, although the extent to which it would for both is yet unknown.
- Who will provide vehicle tests and the precise fees is still unknown at this stage.
- There is a misconception made by the Minister that there is a reluctance from local garages to undertake inspections. The review received several submissions which indicated there was a desire from multiple garages to carry out testing. The Panel considers this misconception to have arisen due to a lack of adequate consultation with the motor industry prior to the proposals being lodged.
- The biggest issue for the motor industry at present is staffing and recruitment. The Panel heard evidence that there is currently a lack of skilled workers within the trade and that careful consideration will need to be given to this if vehicle testing is introduced.
Connétable Mike Jackson, Chairman of the Panel, says:
“It is clear to the Panel that there is merit in adopting international standards on road safety, and there could be implications for some motorists travelling abroad if Jersey does not sign up to the Vienna Convention and introduce roadworthiness testing. However, there are still question marks over some of the crucial elements of the proposals, such as what the fees will be and who provides the service. At this stage, and with the outcome of Brexit still unknown, it is essentially a mitigation of risk as to whether Jersey signs up to the Vienna Convention or if it does not.”
Scrutiny Press Release.