A government plan to overcome the lack of HGV drivers has been revealed.
Within the proposal are a number of measures designed to solve the ongoing driver shortage crisis.
For example, ministers have pledged to work with industry to attract new drivers and simplify training.
In addition, there is a commitment to encouraging current drivers to remain in the industry.
DVSA confirmed that 1,500 drivers pass their tests every week.
However, the government has now pledged to go further.
A new consultation will look at allowing drivers to take a single test to cover both rigids and articulated trucks.
This government plan would, it says, ensure a more streamlined process and increase test appointment availability.
The consultation will concentrate on road safety and ensure drivers are supervised until fully qualified.
Meanwhile, the government plan also addresses working conditions for drivers.
Furthermore, it wants to encourage ‘British workers to forge long, successful careers in the sector’.
This goal will be achieved by supporting more official parking spaces and improving truck park standards.
However, industry groups were quick to react to the news.
RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, called the government plan a long-term step in the right direction, but added it didn’t address short-term issues.
“We need to have access to drivers from overseas on short-term visas.
“The idea to simplify training and speed up testing is welcome; along with encouraging recruitment it will only improve things in a year or two’s time.”
Elizabeth de Jong, policy director, Logistics UK, agreed with Burnett.
“The plans revealed by government only go part of the way to addressing the crucial problem areas,” she said.
“It is dispiriting to see that the safety and security of our workforce is still not being prioritised.”