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Ulster O licences by April

[ January 17, 2012   //   ]

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood has reassured the Freight Transport Association that Operator Licensing would be introduced into Northern Ireland by April this year. It follows a long campaign by the industry to put Ulster on a similar footing to the rest of the UK. The scope for the new ‘O-licensing’ regime was passed in January 2010, but there has been no progress since then.

Tom Wilson, FTA’s Head of Policy for Northern Ireland, met with Mr Attwood at Stormont on 16 January.  He said: “The Minister absolutely gets the importance of O-licensing to Northern Ireland, and we are encouraged by the confidence he has that it will be introduced by the April deadline.”

Licensing of transport operators has existed in the rest of the country for 40 years. Northern Ireland, which spent several decades under direct Westminster control was not however included in the regime owing to the difficulties in governing the province during the ‘Troubles’.