The Department for Transport has indicated that the three-month European notification period has now ended, and it expects to lay the new Regulations before Parliament during March 2016, with a coming-into-force date sometime in April.
The new TSRGD will revoke the long-standing requirement for equipment used to bring traffic signs into or out of use to be of a type approved by the Secretary of State. Such products will then be able to be lawfully placed on the market without Type Approval. However, as members are aware, a new group, TOPAS, has been formed to provide a voluntary registration system to replace Type Approval and maintain technical specifications. TOPAS comprises representatives from the Association, the local government organisation the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport, the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Department for Transport.
TOPAS (Traffic Open Products and Specifications) has been transferring existing Type Approvals to the new register for some months now, and will go live when the 2016 TSRGD come into force. It is hoped that all specifiers will in future require traffic control equipment which would formerly have been type approved to be registered with TOPAS. This is intended to provide assurance that equipment will operate as claimed by the manufacturer, and to ensure inter-operability with existing equipment.