Today (10th August 2021) sees the launch of the government’s consultation into the proposed changes to the current requirements needed to obtain vocational driving licences for category C and D tests (and all derivatives thereof).
The shortage of drivers increased in the last five years from 45,000 in 2016 to over 76,000 today, so this consolation is vital in addressing the issue. Because of this, the DVSA is calling on operators and the further driver training and testing industry to get involved in the consultation from the beginning to help ensure it’s a success especially considering the wide-reaching effects that the driver shortage could have.
There are several areas that the new consolation will be looking into, including:
- allowing drivers to take one test to include both rigid and articulated lorries,
- letting bus and coach drivers who may wish to take a trailer take their test with a trailer as standard,
- allowing the driving training industry to assess off-road manoeuvres
- allowing car drivers to tow trailers without the need for another test.
These proposals detailed above should help alleviate the strain on the DVSA with driver testing backlogs that have evolved because of the pandemic since the restart of testing in April. Training full-time DVSA examiners have also been prioritised recently as part of the ongoing efforts.
These are just some of the consultation areas, and you can take a look at the complete, in-depth details here and also give your invaluable views about how these ideas can help shape (or not) the future of the UK transport industry.
The consolation is due to last four weeks, ending on 7th September. In addition, the DVSA expects to update the industry regarding increasing the availability of vocational tests and enhancements to the online booking system.