About the Traffic Commissioners’ annual report

The UK traffic commissioner has published the latest statistics for O-licence holders in the UK. You can view the full report here.

The statistics are gathered by the Traffic Commissioners of Great Britain, the independent regulators for the HGV and PSV industries and professional drivers. The body represents a model of independent regulation for the passenger and goods transport sectors, providing licencing and regulation of the commercial vehicles industry.

The report:

“provides information on major aspects of the Traffic Commissioners’ judicial, regulatory and administrative roles”.

The report covers O-licence operators, as well as drivers in 2017-2018. In numbers:

  • Operators:

    1. Licences held: 72,547 goods / 8756 PSV
    2. Vehicles: 378,476 goods / 95,634 PSV discs issued
    3. Applications: 11,714 goods / 1231 PSV
    4. Public inquiries (non compliance): 810 goods / 181 PSV
    5. Licences revoked: 261 goods / 86 PSV
    6. Licences suspended: 104 goods / 11 PSV
    7. Operator disqualifications: 82 goods / 28 PSV
    8. Transport manager disqualifications: 105 goods / 39 PSV
  • Drivers:

    1. Vocational licence applications refused: 2798
    2. Vocational licences revoked: 262
    3. Vocational licences suspended: 838
    4. Drivers called to conduct hearing: 3290
    5. Cases closed: 21,222

Where does the commercial vehicle sector stand in 2018?

As the UK’s fifth-largest employer, worth over £120bn to the UK economy, the commercial vehicle sector is essential to the UK. Even besides being an essential source of economic growth, the commercial vehicle sector supports the entire infrastructure of the country:

  • HGVs: Almost 90% of all goods transported by land in the UK are moved directly by road
  • PSVs: last year 4,941 million journeys in the UK were made by bus outside of London, with an additional 25 million by coach

Some of the highlights that relate to Stream Check users include:


The commission noted that, as technology  has moved forward, the regulators must also

“provide a modern and effective regime which does not burden those who meet safety and licencing standards”

and that

“challenges may not decrease, but they do change the conditions in which we regulate reflect improvements in technology “

in other words, that the commission is embracing the kind of technology that can help in proving compliance with regulations – like Stream Check.

Earned recognition

In their forward to the report, the Senior Traffic Commissioner highlighted their dual responsibilities of taking action against operators presenting a safety risk, whilst causing minimal burden to responsible, compliant operators.

This sentiment seems to be in line with the goals of the DVSA’s earned recognition scheme – in fact, the report goes on to comment that, despite a delayed launch, Earned Recognition:

“offers a real way of releasing limited DVSA resource to tackle the seriously and serially non-compliant” and “will leave com pliant operators to carry on their business”.

Promoting a Safe Sector

The report included a section highlighting the importance of maintaining safety standards across the commercial vehicle sector as a whole. The report goes on to remind us that

“The responsibility for keeping our roads safe is shared with every single operator, transport manager and vocational driver”

The more HGV and PSV operators are committed to working within the rules and running a safe and compliant operation, the better the sector will be – for everyone.

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