On 10th September the government announced plans of how they will create an additional 50,000 lorry tests to tackle the current HGV driver shortage. The government plan to make changes to tests that will come into force as soon as possible. Industry leaders supported the proposed changes in a public consultation over the summer. It is claimed that the proposed changes will not affect the standard of driving required to pass HGV tests.
Under the government’s new proposals learner lorry drivers will be able to take the articulated lorry test without having to pass the rigid lorry test first. This change will free up test space for those looking to drive rigid lorries only.
Learner bus and coach drivers will be able to go straight for a bus and coach test with a trailer without needing to pass the test without a trailer first.
These changes will have zero effect on the standard of tests and if legal processes are completed successfully, the government anticipate that the regulations will be changed as soon as possible.
What should I do if I have a rigid lorry test booked?
If you have drivers who have already booked their rigid lorry test, the government recommend you communicate to your drivers and come to a decision about their upcoming test. It might be beneficial for some to wait for the legislation to change as you will be required to take fewer tests to drive an articulated lorry and a bus or coach test with a trailer.
Hawsons Transport and Logistics partner Paul Wormald comments:
The economy as a whole is experiencing acute supply-side challenges with delays in the supply of a wide range of goods. The current shortage of competent qualified HGV drivers is contributing to this, and putting upward pressure on the wages that drivers can demand. This in turn is likely to have knock-on effects on the rate of inflation generally.
It is clear that the government needed to do something to address the current situation and hopefully, these measures will go some way to increase the supply of drivers into the market. However, further steps still need to be taken to help promote lorry driving as an attractive occupation for the younger generation to avoid more chronic shortages in future years.
How can we help?
At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of transport and logistics accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. We act for a large number of clients in this sector across our three offices, ranging from hauliers to international couriers, and understand the challenges this dynamic sector faces.
Nearly every other commercial sector is reliant on the services transport and logistic businesses provide and, in many ways, this specialist sector is the linchpin for our country’s economy.
With our experience in the transport and logistics sector we are able to develop a close understanding of your business and, through active year round involvement, we can help you anticipate and deal with challenges quickly and effectively.
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