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DfT and driving agencies must improve

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We often talk about the driver shortage, the effect it could have in the coming months due to the Christmas period and where the industry will be a few years into the future as a result.

While we have highlighted causes like the cost of becoming a HGV driver, the lack of new talent entering the industry and the inherent struggle for new drivers to get work, we have never spoke about the issues faced by the regulatory bodies themselves. The Department for Transport (DfT) and its regulatory bodies: Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) must improve on the ways their systems communicate with drivers and operators in order to mitigate the burden of excessive compliance within the industry.

Currently there are suggestions from the government to consider private testing of HGVs which would help reduce delays in securing a vehicle test slot, a current problem for those looking to become a HGV driver.

Karen Dee, FTA’s Director of Policy, highlighted an example of a lack of agency resources hindering processing “Improvements to the way the agencies operate could have a significant impact on driver shortage as there are currently problems with the processing of vocational licences, especially where medical investigations are required. This prevents drivers who are medically fit from getting back to work quickly.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) is setting up a consultation for plans to consolidate and improve the UK’s motoring services.

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