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In a statement some are taking with an appropriate amount of scepticism, the Department for Transport (DfT) has acknowledged that it needs to do a better job of catering to the needs of fleet operators and drivers. The statement was made in relation to new consultation designed to determine the future of the DVLA, DVSA, and VCA. The department has promised to look at LGV test and application procedures to see where improvements can be made.

As it now stands, efforts among the three agencies under the DfT’s control are anything but coordinated insofar as fleet operators and drivers are concerned. This lack of coordination makes it very difficult for fleet operators to meet their recruiting objectives for new drivers. Until the problems are resolved, the logistics sector is expected to continue to suffer drastically from a shortage of drivers.

Among the things the DfT has promised to look at are the following:

It is hoped that the DfT’s commitment to reviewing LGV test and application procedures is only the start of the process. However, the possibility of even worse service is always a reality given that the DfT is facing a 37% cut in its budget next year. It’s hard to imagine they can absorb a such a loss simply by upgrading computer systems and streamline the application process.

Should Professionals Be Given Priority?

It seems inevitable that the DfT will eventually have to decide whether or not professional drivers should be given priority in the application and testing process. They will have to decide whether an LGV test is more important than a non-vocational test and whether additional staff hiring should be focused on improving services for fleet operators and drivers.

We make no claims as to the best way for the DfT to improve things. But we can say this: something needs to be done to remove the barriers fleet operators currently face. We are only making it harder to recruit new drivers at a time when we so desperately need them.

Sources:

  1. Fleet News UK – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2015/12/15/government-to-take-fleet-views-into-consideration-on-streamlining-motoring-agencies

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