The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed the new Goods Vehicles Licensing of Operators Transport Bill, in a move that has been broadly welcomed by the Freight Transport Association and fleet owners across the country.
Supporters of the legislation claim the new regulations are long overdue in this part of the UK, but have also expressed gratitude and relief that the guidelines, which will apply to new Ford vans and other commercial vehicles, will now finally come into effect.
The bill has a wide variety of potential benefits to the freight transport industry and other interested parties, with highway safety expected to improve significantly after compulsory checks and maintenance measures have been implemented.
On top of this, Transit vans and similar models will now be subject to more stringent carbon reduction rules, while it is also hoped that organised crime will fall thanks to the changes, as the often poorly maintained vehicles used by criminal groups can now be investigated with less restriction.