On 10 September the UK government announced plans to help to tackle the shortage of lorry drivers by creating an extra 50,000 lorry tests.
Changes to tests will come into force as soon as possible. They follow a public consultation over the summer, which saw thousands of respondents, including industry leaders, support the move as a positive step to help the sector tackle the lorry driver shortage currently affecting countries around the world.
The consultation received over 9,500 responses and most respondents supported the proposals.
The government says the new testing regime will not change the standard of driving required to drive an HGV, and any driver who does not demonstrate utmost competence will not be granted a licence.
Under the new proposals learner lorry drivers will be able to take an articulated lorry test without the need to pass a rigid lorry test first.
In the future, the off-road manoeuvres part of HGV tests will be assessed by DVSA-approved vocational trainers. These manoeuvres will be assessed at the vocational trainer’s off-road area before the on-road test is conducted by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
Drivers who already have a rigid lorry test booking may wish to wait for the legislation to change, although they will not be able to apply for an articulated test until the revised legislation comes into force.