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Drastic action called for on ELV regulations

The secretary of state for transport has been urged to push the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) up against the wall on the issue of End of Life Vehicles (ELVs).

Liberal Democrat North West MEP Chris Davies has called for drastic action to come from Douglas Alexander after three years of dialogue between the Department of Trade and Industry and the DVLA has failed to make Certificates of Destruction (CoD) an absolute requirement from the last owner of an ELV.

Davies said: The law has been on the books since 2003 and the Environment Agency is supposed to be making sure [de-polluting] sites comply with the regulations. But it is over-stretched and cant visit every single site. So not all are being inspected and not all have permits [to de-pollute vehicles]. This situation is not adequate.

What is absolutely fundamental is that CoDs should be issued to the last owner at the time it is taken off the road and sent to Swansea [DVLA headquarters]. Until that happens, there is an absolute coach and horses being driven through the middle of the rules.

The MEP suggested that a simple computerised system would suffice where printed tickets could be given to the last owner and to the de-polluter, and then a copy sent to the DVLA. This would ensure all vehicles are fully traceable.

Davies stated that in essence, it is good legislation, but questioned how in over three years of dialogue, one government department (the DTI) has failed to make another (the DVLA) comply on something that should be a fundamental part of it. 

The secretary of state Douglas Alexander needs to push the DVLA up against the wall and say change it. Three years of correspondence is simply unacceptable, he added.

However, Davies did point to one bright spot. With the next stage of the free producer take-back scheme set to kick in next January, leading manufacturer Ford is increasingly bettering its performance.

This summer its take-back recycling figure was 83%, but it has now hit the 85% mark.


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