Local coach company gearing up for return to MoTs - and those returns to school

  Posted: 29.06.20 at 14:43 by The Editor

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News that MoTs are due to resumed has been welcomed by the local coach company, Centurion Travel which is looking to a slow move back to normal.

The company which was originally started nearly a century ago, is looking to reopen their booking office Monday 6th July (09:30 to 12:30) and will be taking bookings for private coach hire and MOT tests.

It has been a hard time for the Midsomer Norton business, with its distinction liveried coaches, which has not had any work at all since March 23.

When it comes back from July 6, it will also be starting to take a number of children back to school thanks to some specialist local help from Virus Shield, a local Westfield company.

Owner Steve Spiller said: " We are hoping to be back into full swing MOT testing from at least July 13th if not before, we have been having many requests for car / camper van MOTS. The government has announced today the current six month extension will end on August 1st so it’s important we are ready to test vehicles and prevent any backlog.

"We have been working hard to put all of the necessary COVID protection in place and have been working with local companies to supply us with what we need.

Their distinctive coaches can usually be seen working in and around Midsomer Norton and Radstock

"Our offices and coaches will being treated with ‘Virus Shield’ supplied by a company based in Westfield. We are hoping our investment and training will provide the necessary confidence to our customers.

"We do not believe there will be a high demand for coach travel until September when we are hoping business will return close to pre COVID levels. We are closely following government social distancing requirements and will be able to provide a safe service to all those travelling with us. "

Centurion Travel works as both a car and commercial vehicle MOT testing station and private coach hire .

The family have been in the coach industry since 1925, but the business Centurion Travel Limited is a spin off from the original family business and was founded by Steve's father in 1989.

Today (June 29) the Roads Minister Baroness Vere announced that MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August.

The company is an off shoot of one originally formed in 1925

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory. Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

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