Government consults on driver licensing changes – including allowing Cat B drivers to drive large vans and lorries of up to 7.5 tonnes
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the subsequent HGV driver shortage crisis, the government rapidly put 33 actions in place to address these issues.
Eight of these actions came from expanding the HGV driver testing capacity and improving the licensing process. The licensing improvements were achievable partly due to the fact that we had left the European Union and had the freedom to change our legislation to improve our testing and licensing regime.
Government now wish to explore whether there are any further opportunities that could be available. These include whether to grant drivers who have category B car licence entitlement additional entitlement to category C1 (7.5 tonnes) goods vehicle entitlement and whether to grant drivers who have a category B licence entitlement to a minibus category D1 licence.
In addition to other ideas on licence categories, there are proposals to raise the standards of HGV instruction and improve pass rates and to permit a person who has held an HGV category C licence for 2 years to drive PCVs for maintenance and repair purposes.
Any changes would need to ensure continued safe use of our roads and be economically proportionate. That is why DfT want to hear the views of those who help make our driver licensing regime efficient and safe and be guided by the feedback – and that makes the responses of professional driver trainers important.
You can access the consultation here.
Please also take the DIA’s short survey too and feedback your views. The DIA will then use that feedback to inform an official response.