Dear Mr. Frankland,
You wrote to your MP Mr James Wharton on 27 August to share your concerns on the European Commission's proposed new regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles. As Conservative MEP for the North East in the European Parliament, James has asked me to respond to your email.
The proposed regulation, which is part of the 'Roadworthiness Package', was submitted to the European Parliament during the summer recess. It has not yet been considered, or even studied, by the Parliament's Transport Committee.
When the Transport Committee has reached its view of this proposed regulation, the matter will be referred back to the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, which comprises national Transport Ministers from around the EU.
I realise this process is very bureaucratic and I do not expect a decision on this proposal before the end of 2013.
I am seriously concerned that this is yet further interference by the EU in matters which, certainly in the case of the United Kingdom, have been handled perfectly well until now.
I do not believe that roadworthiness testing should relate to modifications, alterations or improvements to vehicles. Most historic vehicles will have been modified at some stage and so testing against its original characteristics, as the proposal suggest, is simply unworkable. I shall be making robust arguments to the Parliament on these issues.
Speaking personally, I am an enthusiast for historic vehicles, having owned a 1961 Ford Popular and a 1974 Triumph Stag. I therefore fully understand the problem caused by this proposal and I will do all I can to oppose it.
You will be able to follow the progress of the proposal through the web site of the European Parliament. If you have any further comments that you would like to bring to my attention, please feel free to contact me again.
In the meantime, I am pleased that the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has confirmed that it has submitted comments to the Department for Transport. I would urge you to also contact your Member of Parliament in Westminster, if you have not already done so.
With best wishes
MEP for North East England
Chairman, European Conservatives and Reformists Group
Whilst it is encouraging that Mr Callanan is opposed to this proposal and will argue against it, he is but one voice amongst many. It needs everybody with an interest in classic and modified cars to make a noise about it. Contact your MEP, MP and anybody else who will listen.
The online petition is here. It beeds 100,000 signatures to force the issue before the House of Parliament. It won't make that figure if you don't sign it!