Shropshire company takes campervan safety campaign to Westminster
Delegates from Bebb Ltd. and local MP meet with Minster of Transport Stephen Hammond and present the current loop hole in the law that allows conversions out on the road with no mandatory testing.
Please see press release below...
CAMPERVAN SAFETY CAMPAIGN HEADS TO WESTMINSTER
A delegation from a Shropshire company is finally set to meet a Government transport minister on Thursday to step up its campaign to improve safety in Volkswagen campervan conversions.
Darren Bebb, managing director of Bebb Limited, a sister company to Shrewsbury and Newtown-based Salop Vans, will be joined by his business development manager David Park and Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski at the meeting with transport minister Stephen Hammond in London.
A previous meeting, planned for last September, was postponed at short notice due a cabinet reshuffle, which saw Mr Hammond’s predecessor, Mike Penning, move from Department of Transport to the Northern Ireland Office.
Mr Bebb has welcomed new laws brought in by the Government last April to improve safety in motorhomes but feels they do not go far enough. A loophole allows converters to avoid the new laws if vehicles were registered before April 1.
He says some campervan converters are gambling with lives by fitting potentially lethal seat bed systems. Many still do not have seat belts fitted.
“Around 100 vehicles per week get converted in the UK and I estimate that only about five per cent comply with the new standards that were introduced on April 1,” said Mr Bebb, who has also lobbied the National Caravan Council (NCC) and RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, to raise awareness of the safety issues.
He is so concerned about the safety of campervan passengers that he has invested £100,000 over 18 months to become the first company in the UK to design, test and manufacture a seat bed that exceeds the requirements of the new regulations.
The quick release Rock N Roll seat bed system for VW T5 campervan conversions has been crash tested in-vehicle by STATUS (Specialist Transport Advisory and Testing Utility Society), a division of Manchester University.
A key safety feature of the new seat bed is a four-piece under bracing kit to fix it securely to the vehicle body. Incorporating two seat belts and iso-fix points for two children’s seats, the new seat is designed for fast conversion into a bed and a quick release system allows it to removed from the campervan when not needed.
The European Union has proposed tougher rules for motorhomes, aimed at improving road safety by reducing road traffic accidents caused by defective vehicles.
The new legislation relates to the compliance of vehicle components with their characteristics at the time of first registration. The implication is that modification will not be allowed without further approval of the vehicle.
This could have major consequences for motorhome converters of previously registered vehicles who currently apply to DVLA to have the vehicle registration classification changed on completion of conversion rather than applying for further type approval.
Bebb Beds welcomed the proposals and Mr Park worked closely with the National Caravan Council on its response to the EU. “We are fully committed at Bebb Beds to drive this change and really focus on the quality and safety of VW conversions,” said Mr Park
For more information please contact Darren Bebb or David Park at Bebb Limited on 01743 351400 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations consultant, on 01686 650818