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Row over EU plans for caravan testingBack

caravanIf you are a caravan owner, you could be facing the threat of large bills in the future due to EU plans to introduce MoT style checks.

Plans to introduce an MoT check for caravans have so far been resisted by the Government but if rolled out could hit as many as 500,000 UK families.

The plans are due to be discussed again next month whereby Brits will argue that the proposed measures are imposing unnecessary costs on caravan owners.

The new rules will require caravans weighing more than 750kg to undergo safety testing. Once the caravan is four years old the first test will take place, with repeat inspections to follow every two years.

The tests are intended to bring the UK into line with the current standards rolled out across the EU as a while but the Caravan Club, which speaks on behalf of UK caravan enthusiasts says that the proposals will do little to promote safety.

“While acknowledging that some roadworthiness concerns do exist with a proportion of caravans, there is no evidence to indicate that such concerns result in a disproportionate accident rate,” a spokesman said. “Indeed, the rate of reported accidents for caravans in the UK is extremely low, and has been falling steadily for some years.’’

It has been estimated that the proposed tests could cost £239 million to implement and the Caravan Club fears that caravan owners will be the ones to pick up the majority of this bill which will be used to set up testing centres and employing qualified staff.

The new testing regime is being pushed by the European Parliament who earlier in the summer passed a resolution which extended the testing a lot further than had been previously planned.

Jacqueline Foster, a Tory member of the European Parliament has opposed the proposals, she said: “As the Conservative Spokesman on Transport and Tourism, I have spent many months objecting to the inclusion of caravans in this proposed regulation.“I believe it to be pointless and it would contribute nothing to improve road safety. It is accepted that our roads are among the safest in Europe.

The caravan industry is worth more than £6 billion a year and is a huge contributor to the local and national economies. With the new plans set to be brought forward next month there are fears that what is essentially an important part of the UK’s leisure and tourism industry could be put under jeopardy.

This movement comes as part of a series of clashes with the EU in relation to Brussel’splans to impose additional rules on motorists.

 

 

Posted by Leana Kell on 12/08/2013