The tests van drivers need to take will be relaxed — but it’s not necessarily a good thing.
You may have heard about the very serious hoo-ha of a shortage of HGV drivers and van drivers facing the UK at the moment.
Some are blaming Covid-19 and the number of tests that have had to be cancelled. Some are firmly pointing their fingers at Brexit. Some are blaming an accumulation of both, alongside other resulting factors in the past, very unusual, year.
We’re not one to accuse people or pandemics (although perhaps we should), but there is a major concern here. With the tests being made easier, it could be argued that they’re being relaxed a smidgen too far. And with the ease of passing the tests, there is a rise in numbers of people being concerned about safety issues.
Depending on where you live, you may have also noticed a few empty shelves at your local supermarket. Again, sparked by Brexit or the COVID-19 app pinging left, right and centre, telling people to isolate and keep the country safe? Once again, it could be a bit of both.
Whatever the reason is for the cause of these shortages, from empty shelves to delivery drivers, this could really affect the safety of our HGV and van drivers out there.
For example, this relaxing of the requirements to pass the test follows a decision that affects breaks that lorry drivers can take. Now, drivers have to drive for longer before they can take a break, as if it wasn’t exhausting enough already.
The Secretary for Transport, Grant Shapps, has launched a plan of action where numbers of van drivers passing their tests could rise to more than the present levels of 1,500 successful passes a week. Off-road manoeuvres are also in the plan to be discarded.
Are you a van driver and feel strongly about this? Or, are you going to be sitting your test soon? Let us know how you feel about the latest news.
Whilst you’re here, whether you’re a seasoned van driver or a new one. Something we can all agree on is where you get the cheapest van insurance from. Guess what? It’s right here.