Both the RHA and FTA have welcomed the news that Vosa and the DSA are to merge into a single government agency from next year.

Services ranging from vehicle testing to driving tests will be handled by an as-yet un-named agency from 2014 but the DfT said that all users of both Vosa and DSA services should expect the same high quality delivery during the transition period.

A transitional board, headed by Vosa chief executive Alastair Peoples (pictured), who will head the new agency, will start work next month to determine the structure of the organisation.

Peoples and transitional board will oversee the two agencies which will continue in their current form for at least the next 12 months. By that time the DfT expects the detail of the structural reorganisation to be complete.

Devil in the detail

RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning said: “This move makes obvious sense to an industry that is surrounded by regulations from number of regulatory bodies. However, we are concerned that this is another case of the devil being in the detail and we would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the negotiations as to how the new system will actually work.

“We have always had a good relationship with both the DSA and Vosa and are confident that this will continue with the new, single, regulatory body,” he added.

Karen Dee, FTA director of policy, said: “We support anything that delivers better service and better value for money for our members. We can certainly see some potential in that in merging Vosa and DSA and perhaps streamlining where the two overlap. But what we can’t see at the moment is quite how it’s going to be done and we will obviously be looking for the detail to make sure the needs of commercial vehicle operators remain a high priority for the new agency.”

Roads minister Stephen Hammond said: “ We need to make sure that we continue to keep pace with customers’ needs and deliver services in a way which is both convenient and cost effective.

“These changes will put customers at the heart of the services they rely on and allow for a more coherent approach to service delivery. By bringing testing and standards services into a single organisation we will make life easier for customers and potentially reduce the fees we charge."

He added: “Staff at the DSA and Vosa do a great job in delivering for customers every day and we will work closely with them to support them through these changes.”

Thew to leave DSA

Rosemary Thew, DSA chief executive, will leave the agency at the end of the month.

Thew said: “I’ve been considering moving on for some time, for private and personal reasons. The creation of a single agency replacing DSA and VOSA seems the right time for me to do so.

“I’m confident that the team here at DSA under Alastair’s leadership will continue to offer our customers the very best service they can as the merger proceeds and the combined agency emerges.”

The announcement of the merger follows the consultation on the motoring services strategy which ran from 13 December 2012 to 7 March.