To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department have taken to help ensure a sufficient level of fully qualified HGV drivers to carry out the additional 50,000 HGV driving tests being made available each year.
28 September 2021
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has increased the number of vocational driving tests available per week to 3,000. This is a 50% increase from before the pandemic, achieved through the use of overtime and moving additional staff into testing.
DVSA has recruited 300 new car examiners to ease demand on vocational examiners, who conduct HGV driving tests, and is also recruiting 40 more vocational examiners. In addition, the delegation of the reversing manoeuvres in the HGV driving test to approved trainers, announced on 10 September 2021, will allow vocational examiners to complete more driving tests per day.
The forthcoming regulatory change to remove the requirement to take a test to tow a trailer with a car, also announced on 10 September, will result in around an additional 30,000 vocational tests a year being made available, as most of the examiners who conducted car and trailer tests are also qualified to conduct HGV and HGV and trailer tests. A further 20,000 vocational tests will be made available through removing the requirement to take a rigid lorry (Cat C) test before an articulated vehicle (Cat C+E) test.