Source: Logistics UK, 2021-09-13
The changes to the Heavy Goods Vehicle driver testing process announced on 10 September 2021 show the government is now moving at pace towards a solution to the current driver shortage, according to Logistics UK, one of the UK’s leading business groups. The increase in testing capacity by a third is very welcome, but these promises need to be implemented quickly if they are to make significant difference to the current shortage in time for Christmas, as Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK explains:
“With access to tests a key barrier to recruits wishing to join the occupation, the government’s measures to speed up the process of qualifying as an Heavy Goods Vehicle driver – including the removal of staged testing and allowing authorised private sector examiners to undertake parts of the examination – will increase testing capacity significantly and have a positive effect in the longer-term. However, the impact of today’s measures is unlikely to make a significant difference on the driver shortage if they cannot be implemented in time for the industry’s Christmas peak, with DVSA, DVLA and the wider training industry needing time to apply the changes and adapt their operations.”
Ms De Jong continues: “Logistics UK had strongly voiced our concerns about the proposed abolition of the B+E driver category, as this could pose a risk to road safety. However, Logistics UK has been assured that there will be a package of safety mitigation measures introduced; we will be working with government to ensure safety is prioritised.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than 7m people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.