Minister's pledge: we will protect UK classics from Euro threat

| 17 Dec 2012

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond has promised the Government will 'adopt a wide interpretation of the rules' if the new European Roadworthiness Directive gets the go-ahead.

At a 14 December meeting Hammond spoke with fellow MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, Greg Knight, along with group treasurer John Cryer MP and representatives from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.

Hammond was confident that the EU's wording would allow for a 'common sense' interpretation of the rulebook that would protect UK enthusiasts and their classics.

Debate has raged over the potential harm to the classic car hobby since the directive – which would require all classics to be in a largely original specification – was announced, sparking fears that all modified classics could be driven off the roads.

Merely the fact that the draft proposal has already been downgraded from a 'regulation' to a 'directive', which allows member states to determine how it is incorporated into their legislation, suggests that the community-wide enforcement initially planned has been diluted.

Knight said: "It was a very positive meeting and the Minister clearly has the interests of the classic car owners at the forefront of his mind in these negotiations."

Chairman of the FBHVC David Whale added: "Our meeting was indeed very positive. Mr Hammond is taking a personal and pro-active position in the negotiations with the EU and clearly wishes to achieve a successful outcome for the owners of historic vehicles."

The news comes as a relief to classic car fans who had feared the new legislation could have sounded the death knell for classics.

To find out more visit the FBVHC website.

Pictured, left to right are: David Hurley (legislation director, FBHVC), David Whale (chairman of the FBHVC), Transport Minister Stephen Hammond MP, APPHVC chairman Greg Knight MP, APPHVC treasurer John Cryer MP, and Geoff Smith (vice-president, FBHVC).