New facility could save council tens of thousands of pounds

Published:  05 October, 2015

A new vehicle inspection facility and MOT station has been given the go-ahead at South Northamptonshire Council's (SNC) Tove Depot in Towcester and will save the council tens of thousands of pounds.

SNC currently gets all its vehicles inspected and serviced at Cherwell District Council (CDC) facility in Banbury where its large goods vehicles have to be inspected every six weeks. But the introduction of the facility in Towcester will save fuel costs and driver time and shave £10,000 per year from the cost of maintaining SNC's fleet of vehicles.

The new facility will also have the capacity to carry out MOTs for external customers with cars, vans and motor caravans. Locally, there are limited MOT test facilities for motor caravan and high roofed vans as many MOT stations do not have the headroom to be able to carry out the tests.

Councillor Dermot Bambridge, SNC's portfolio holder for environmental services, said: ‘Beside the obvious financial benefits, this has the potential to be a convenient service that motorists can have faith in.

‘Not only will it be delivered by the local authority, which has a vested interest in following best practice, but it will also be a pass or fail service, as it will offer no repairs, which we know is attractive to many motorists.'

SNC currently inspects more than 400 private hire taxis each year at the Tove Depot and the MOT station would offer taxi firms a one-stop-shop for licensing and an MOT.

Located just outside of the town centre and close to two supermarkets, the MOT station should also be attractive to town centre workers and shoppers.

CDC has offered an MOT service to the public for many years and it is thought a parallel facility in Towcester could generate £30,000 in its first year, rising to £55,000 in the second. Those profits will be ploughed back in to the protection and improvement of front-line services.

The new facility will cost £120,000 to develop and it is hoped it will be up and running by April 2016.

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