Traffic Commissioner Scotland

Department for Transport
Contract Type
Practice Area
Legal Support
£97,354 per annum
0-2 yrs, 3 -4 yrs, 5+ yrs
Traffic commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport but are independent office holders.

Job Description

They act both as independent regulators and in a quasi-judicial role as single person tribunals when conducting public inquiries in relation to licence applications and disciplinary matters and demonstrate impartiality in all aspects of decision-making.

The European Union requires through EU Regulation 1071/2009 that each Member State should have a ‘competent authority’ to regulate commercial road transport undertakings. The UK Government plans to replicate the relevant EU power in time orf Brexit. The regulation specifies a body with power to set conditions, impose sanctions and remove the authorisation to operate. Traffic Commissioners are the ‘competent authority’ in GB.

Traffic Commissioners are supported by a team of staff in their own traffic area (who are DVSA employees) plus a centralised team of DVSA staff in Leeds. The team deals with the administration of the licensing systems and carries out routine licensing functions under the delegated authority of the Traffic Commissioners.

Main Duties & Responsibilities

Time: 42 hours (over a 5 day week) including one hour daily meal breaks

Traffic Commissioners are responsible for licensing operators of Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs - lorries) and Public Service Vehicles (PSVs - buses). They are also responsible for registration of local bus services and safe guarding the interests of bus passengers. The recently introduced Transport (Scotland) Bill would make some further changes to the role of the Traffic Commissioner in relation to bus services in Scotland. Commissioners also consider whether the drivers of LGVs and PSVs are fit persons to hold such licences.

Traffic Commissioners promote:

  • The safe operation of LGVs and PSVs;
  • Fair competition between operators;
  • Reducing the burden on compliant operators;
  • The safe and responsible conduct of LGV and PSV drivers.
  • Dealing with appeals against decisions by Scottish local authorities on taxi fares
  • Dealing with appeals against charging and removing improperly parked vehicles in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The Traffic Commissioners’ role is important to both the commercial vehicle operators and the wider public. They must maintain the confidence of a wide range of stakeholders and ensure personal integrity as well as having regard to helping the growth of the economy through the Regulators Code and The Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) Order 2016.


DfT values diversity and are keen to better reflect this on our appointment and welcome applications from appropriately experienced people irrespective of their background.

It is essential that you address and provide clear supporting evidence for each of the criteria in Part 1 and Part 2 below. Please cover each item separately with clear headings.


Part One: Qualifications & Experience


  • Demonstrate an ability to understand complex legal issues, to reach fair, evidence-based decisions and to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels.
  • Exceptional analytical skills and the ability to express complex issues clearly.
  • Sound understanding or interest in the road transport sector or relevant experience in related areas


  • A legal qualification or experience dealing with legal issues would be potentially advantageous but is not essential.
  • Knowledge of operator licensing and road transport law.


Part Two: Key competencies and behaviours


  • Ability to grasp the principles of administrative law and to conduct legal proceedings and investigations in public.
  • Exceptional analytical skills; able to analyse and work with others’ analysis of complex written and numerical data.
  • Able to question insightfully and get to the heart of the matter quickly; able to put complex legal issues or proceedings into clear and concise language (both verbally and in writing).
  • Sound judgement skills; able to reach clear, reasoned, fair, impartial and evidence-based decisions.
  • Able to engage and communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences including handling media interest. Self-confident and politically astute.
  • Willingness to embrace and contribute to the development and modernisation of the operator licensing system.
  • Commitment to continuous improvement and maintaining the quality and consistency of service standards.
  • Able to work in a highly collegiate manner including with other public authorities.

Main Duties

a. holding public inquiries under Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 and the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 in respect of applications for goods vehicle and public service vehicle operator licences respectively and disciplinary matters;

b. holding disciplinary public inquiries under the Transport Act 1985 (as amended) in respect of local bus service registration;

c. conducting hearings under the Road Traffic Act 1988 in respect of LGV and PSV driver licence applications and driver conduct,

d. lead on one or more specific areas of work and act as point of contact for that portfolio area.

Note: If a candidate holds or acquires a financial interest in a transport undertaking which carries passengers or goods by road or rail within Great Britain it is required within four weeks to give notice of that acquisition in writing to the Secretary of State specifying the interest you have acquired. This is required in accordance with paragraph 2 of schedule 2 to the Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.

Extract from Code of Practice for Ministerial appointments to public bodies

6.1 Since the ultimate responsibility for making public appointments rests with Ministers, they must be:

- involved at the beginning of the competition, when they must be asked to agree the selection process, selection criteria and publicity strategy and to suggest potential candidates to be invited to apply;

- kept in touch with progress of the competition throughout, including, if they wish, being provided with information about the expertise, experience and skills of the candidates; and

- at the end of the process, given a choice of candidates assessed by the panel to be appointable, unless only one candidate is found by the panel to be appointable, in which case that candidate should be put to the Minister.

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