EU to enforce MOTs for caravans?

12 Aug 2013

Nearly 200,000 caravanning families could be hit by a costly new EU plan which will enforce MOT style testing for all caravans travelling within the EU.

Described by the Daily Mail as ‘draconian demands’, German MEP Werner Kuhn argues that regular checks need to be enforced to make sure that any caravan entering the continent is up to the task and won’t be a hazard to other road users.

An economic blow?

The UK Caravan Club, which has over 375,000 members has hit back fiercely though stating the majority of caravan owners are actually families with children who wouldn’t dream of putting their offspring at risk through bad maintenance.

Fears are that the introduction of such laws will have a negative impact on tourism in the UK, where caravanning is seen as an affordable and cost effective way for many families to enjoy a well-earned break. If tourism gets hit then the overall economy could then be negatively impacted upon which could spell disaster.

It’s reported that caravanners spend in excess of £40 million with local business and providers during the seasonal getaway, but with increased maintenance costs people may feel this isn’t an affordable holiday and numbers could drop.

A spokesperson for the Caravan Club told the Daily Mail: “Caravanning is inherently very safe, with extremely low levels of reported accidents, and the overwhelming majority of accidents which do occur are caused by factors such as poor loading  – causing instability – and driver behaviour, not by factors that would be mitigated by roadworthiness testing.”

No dice, as yet

Jacqueline Foster, a Tory MEP added: “There is no evidence to suggest that the inclusion of caravans – a £6billion pound industry in the UK – and light commercial trailers would benefit from a road safety angle.

“We should be encouraging our leisure and tourism industries, not penalising them.”

This comment came in the wake as the first wave of plans for the scheme were already passed in the European Parliament on 2nd July.  A number of British MEPs spoke out at this time but to no avail.

So far, the European Commission has refused to comment.

(Image via Flickr)

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