2nd July 2013
Local South West MEP, Ashley Fox, has condemned EU plans which would impose a cumbersome and intrusive inspection and testing regime for caravans and light trailers.
The European Union has drafted a raft of proposed legislation on vehicle safety testing which would hugely extend the scope of the current regime for MOT tests, as well as roadside tests on commercial vehicles. The draft legislation also includes proposals that could potentially ban some repair garages from also conducting MOT tests and for making caravans and light trailers (under 3.5 tons) subject to frequent MOT tests.
"As we approach the summer holiday season politicians of all parties need to be doing all they can to support the tourist industry," commented Mr Fox. "This proposed regulation will bring extra costs and inconvenience that could spoil their holidays and leisure time."
"With so many caravan owners across the United Kingdom, not least the one million members of the Caravan Club, this industry is worth more than £6 billion a year. It contributes greatly to our local and national economies. This is an important part of our leisure and tourism industry which we should be encouraging, not penalising."
The apparent motivation to these proposals is to improve road safety, and yet with British roads being some of the safest in Europe, Mr Fox questions whether additional laws and regulations are really needed.
"Caravans are generally well-maintained by their owners and used typically in good driving conditions with low annual mileage. I am pushing hard to protect the UK from yet more overly prescriptive, burdensome and unnecessary regulation from the European Commission," he adds. "I am all in favour of improving road safety, but this is set to take our perfectly good British system backwards."
"The South West is home to many caravan parks, and the destination of many caravaners from across the country. It is absolutely vital that we don’t allow the EU to erect road blocks in the path of cheap British holidays."