At the end of last year, the Senior Traffic Commissioner revised her guidance on the role of transport managers. For the first time the guidance includes detailed guidance and what a transport manager is required to do in order to fullfil the legal requirement of having “continuous and effective management” for the licences for which they are responsible. In effect this could be regarded as a template job description for the transport manager role.
The guidance is divided into 6 headings of general responsibilities, administration of drivers, management of drivers, the operations re drivers, vehicle administration and vehicle management. However, not only do transport managers have to know what needs to be done, they have to be effective in getting it done, as the guidance looks at their capacity to do the job, i.e. what other demands there are on their time, the responsibility which is vested in them and whether they have the ability to influence the behaviour of others. For further advice on what this means in practice, please get in touch with me.
All this may mean the end of the transport manager who was in effect nothing more than a name specified on the licence. It also means that operators perhaps need to be more careful in whom they employ. Although there has been a reduction in the proposed number of hours per vehicle that a transport manager is supposed to work, Traffic Commissioners are looking for that time to be spent more productively. Whereas in the old guidance the proposed number of hours worked was suggested as a broad guideline, the latest guidance refers to it being a starting point as to what traffic commissioners would expect but that it is intended to prompt discussion between the operator and the CPC holder as to what time is actually required to carry out the transport manager duties.
Where does this leave the operator? I think the days of employing a transport manger and leaving him to get on with it are at an end. Both parties need to be more proactive and those operators who are not proactively managing their transport manger, cannot be surprised if the traffic commissioner then question’s their repute.