The governing body for driving standards has announced changes to how HGV licenses are set to take effect in November 2021, with the intent of streamlining the pipeline from applicant to driver in the transport logistics industry.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP speaking on behalf of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced a range of measures that are set to streamline the process of getting a license to drive a heavy goods vehicle.
The first step affects car drivers by removing the need to pass a separate Category BE test in order to tow trailers, which Mr Shapps claims will allow 30,000 extra HGV tests to be taken each year.
The next step streamlines the HGV driving test by removing reversing and coupling and uncoupling a trailer from the examination, instead having these elements tested by a third party company.
As well as this, the off-road manoeuvrers test seen in vocational driving tests will also be undertaken by a third party, as all three exercises need to take place at a special manoeuvering area and take up significant time for examiners.
A further measure aims to remove the staged process of driving a lorry entirely, by removing the requirement to get a Category C licence before applying for a Category C + E license, reducing the need to get two separate tests and speeding up the progression of a lorry driver.
Previously, both tests would need to be taken at least three weeks apart, requiring two sessions with an examiner and delaying a driver’s induction into the workforce.
These measures are all aimed at boosting driver numbers, alongside schemes to enable younger drivers to enter the industry.