DVLA Announces 50,000 Extra Lorry Tests a Year
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVLA) has announced plans to create a further 50,000 lorry driver tests per year. The move comes as the Government attempts to tackle a major shortfall in the number of HGV drivers available - a problem that has caused significant disruption to supply chains across the UK.
Under the proposed regime, learner lorry drivers will be permitted to complete an articulated lorry test without the need to have first gained a licence to drive rigid lorries. Trainee bus and coach drivers will also be able to complete a bus and coach test with a trailer without first having to complete a test without one.
The DVSA has also announced plans to appoint approved vocational trainers to conduct the off-road manoeuvres aspect of HGV testing. It is hoped that this measure will streamline the lorry driver testing process and therefore improve testing capacity.
The DVLA has assured the public that changes to the testing regime will not alter the standard of driving required to gain an HGV licence. A study of over 9,500 respondents showed strong support for the proposals, however it is not yet clear if they will be sufficient to address the UK's lorry driver shortage.