Plans for MOT-style tests for Jersey cars to be reviewed

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The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel has announced that it wants to look at the legislation, which was proposed by Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis on Tuesday, to assess whether it is the ‘best option for Jersey’.

The legislation, which would allow the UK to extend its membership of a United Nations convention on vehicle standards to the Island, has been proposed as a way of ensuring that Jersey motorists will
still be able to legally drive their cars in post-Brexit Europe.

However, the Scrutiny panel’s chairman, Constable Mike Jackson, has said that he and his colleagues will want to consult the public and key members of the motor trade to see whether there is wider support
for the proposal and what alternatives might exist.

‘We are aware that there may be implications resulting from Brexit, which could hinder Jersey motorists travelling to Europe, which is what has prompted these proposals,’ he said.

‘However, effective scrutiny of the proposals is necessary to ensure it is the best solution for Jersey. It’s also important for the panel to hear the views of Jersey’s motor trade and the general public, so we can better understand any concerns and impact.’

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Murray Norton said that the Chamber would be making a submission to the Scrutiny panel, and that their principal concern was the lack of detail that has been provided by Deputy Lewis about how the new road-worthiness checks would be carried out.

‘The crux question,’ he said, ‘is whether they will use a franchise model [where the department caries out the checks centrally] or a distributed model [which would allow private businesses to carry out the checks]. They have not decided how these details will work yet but they are very important.

‘It seems to me that this should have been the first thing to have been worked out. Otherwise, how else can you effectively estimate how much it will all cost?’

Deputy Lewis, however, said that these details would only be worked out if the law was adopted by the States. He added that the cost to Islanders to have the checks carried out would be somewhere between £40 and £60 every three years.

‘It will not be as onerous as the UK’s MOT – nowhere near – plus the car will probably be about four years old before it needs testing and thereafter it will be every three years.’

When asked what would happen if the States Assembly did not adopt the law when it was debated on 20 November, he said that it would leave Islanders in a ‘precarious situation’.

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