Extra tests for HGV drivers have been announced by the Government.

The move has been taken to deal with the ongoing driver shortage.

Specifically, 50,000 extra truck test slots have been agreed.

The changes will come into force ‘as soon as possible’ according to a government statement.

A public consultation was held over the summer about the measures, such as the extra tests.

As a result, thousands of people responded expressing their opinions on the matter.

For example, industry leaders, who believe the plan involved positive steps to help the current crisis. 

Furthermore, they acknowledged that the issue was not limited to the UK, with other countries also short of drivers.

Importantly, these changes will not change the standard of driving required to drive an HGV. 

Therefore, there is reassurance that road safety remains of paramount importance.

If a driver doesn’t demonstrate utmost competence, they will not be granted a licence.

Meanwhile the government was keen to stress it had delivered 50% more tests than were available before the pandemic.

Logistics UK welcomed the increase in testing capacity.

But, it also warned that promises needed to be implemented quickly

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, was particularly concerned about the Christmas period.

“The government’s measures to speed up the process of qualifying as an HGV driver will have a positive effect in the longer-term,” she said. 

“However, the impact of today’s measures is unlikely  to make a difference on the driver shortage.”

The changes needed to be implemented before the Christmas peak, she added.

Concluding, De Jong said: “Logistics UK had strongly voiced our concerns about the proposed abolition of the B+E driver category.

We will be working with government to ensure safety is prioritised.”