Up to 50,000 more HGV driving tests will be made available each year, in an effort to streamline the testing process and tackle the worldwide lorry driver shortage.
HGV driving tests will be overhauled, meaning drivers will only need to take 1 test to drive both a rigid and articulated lorry, rather than having to take 2 separate tests.
This will make around 20,000 more HGV driving tests available every year and mean drivers can gain their licence and enter the industry more quickly.
Tests will also be made shorter by removing the ‘reversing exercise’ element – and for vehicles with trailers, the ‘uncoupling and recoupling’ exercise – and having it tested separately by a third party.
This part of the test is carried out off the road on a manoeuvring area and takes a significant amount of time.
Testing such manoeuvres separately will free up examiner time, meaning they can carry out another full test every day.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “From Inverness to St Ives, HGV drivers are helping to keep the country running, and have been throughout the pandemic.
“The shortage of drivers is a global problem, but we’ve been taking action here in the UK to help industry leaders attract drivers and build a more resilient sector.
“We’ve already delivered 50% more tests than were available before the pandemic, but today’s additional measures will deliver up to 50,000 more a year, helping more and more people to kickstart their career as a well-paid HGV driver.”