Government joins protest against proposed EU caravan MOT

caravanCaravan owners tend to be a mild mannered bunch, but proposed EU legislation has got them seeing red. The European Union plans to introduce an annual MOT-style test for caravans weighing over 750 kg.  Caravaners and the government have united to ‘resist’ the plans claiming that the legislation could seriously damage the economy by reducing the number of people holidaying in the UK.

There are an estimated 500,000 caravans in the UK and all but the smallest would be affected. The Caravan Club argues that caravanning is predominantly a family activity and responsible owners already look after their caravans in the interests of safety. They also point out that proposed tests will need specialist equipment that’s likely to require caravan owners to travel substantial distances.

Last year the government binned a caravan registration scheme having estimated it would cost the public purse a whopping £239m. Add that to the potential dent in the economy caused by fewer people holidaying in the UK and you can see why the government’s backing the caravan community.

Jacqueline Foster, a MEP and spokeswoman for Transport and Tourism, said “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. Caravans are an important part of our leisure and tourism industry which we should be encouraging, not penalising.”

The wider piece of legislation is aimed at harmonising the roadworthiness of vehicles across the continent, and has received support and opposition in equal measure. The first stage of the proposal has already been passed and the debate will resume in the European Parliament in autumn. If the legislation is approved it will come into effect from 1 January 2018.

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