The government plans to streamline the HGV license examination tests as part of a package of measures to help improve the number of drivers in the industry and their conditions.
Unveiled as part of an open letter to the transport logistics industry, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a consultation that was set to be launched that would look into changes to the existing HGV driving test.
These include combining both the articulated and rigid lorry examinations into one test that would be valid for both, exploring whether car and trailer tests are required, as well as allowing trainers to examine drivers during the off-road manoeuvrers test.
These changes, Mr Shapps claims, would significantly increase the number of tests that can be taken without compromising road safety standards or the quality of the tests themselves.
As well as this, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that they are developing a new driver training pilot scheme that would allow job-seekers to access training and jobs in the haulage industry.
Beyond education, the package of measures also includes steps to improve the working conditions of the hard-working drivers currently on the road today, which would, in turn, encourage them to stay, new drivers to join the profession in the long term and perhaps persuade former drivers to return.
The first step of this, according to Mr Shapps, is to improve the standard of lorry parks and add more official parking space, which should in turn help to improve driving conditions throughout a driver’s stint in the cab.