The UK government has published a Consultation document, asking for opinions on making it easier for HGV drivers to pass their tests, plus abolish the need for car drivers to take an extra test to see if they can handle towing a heavy trailer, or horse box, on their car.
The paper opens with a note from Baroness Vere of Norbiton;
“Driver testing restarted in mid-April with around 3,000 tests a day, significantly more than before the pandemic. the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is working hard to tackle the backlog by putting in place additional measures to increase the number of vocational tests available including prioritising training of full time DVSA examiners over delegated examiners and operational changes that will help reduce time taken to upgrade licence entitlement.”
The proposals state that the current testing off-road of HGV drivers will remain the same in terms of practical tasks; coupling/uncoupling tractor units, reversing etec but that staff at HGV training schools could be authorised to test those features of the practical test, as well as DVSA staff.
The current route of gaining a graduated licence would be changed, with the option of going straight for the Category CE HGV lorry licence, instead of working their way up with say a C1 llicence first. If you passed CE then you would get all the other C categories added to your licence under the new proposals.
For brokers who specialise in the equestrian market, it’s worth noting that the government proposes to abolish the need for a an extra test to gain BE Categories on your licence. So towing a heavy trailer or horsebox would be your choice – no mandatory test.
Some 30,000 BE tests take place each year and abolition would also open the door for car drivers to buy a trailer to remove household rubbish, carry out house clearances, move furniture or motorcycles etc via a heavy duty trailer. If they had insurance that was easy to bolt-on as a trailer, via a smartphone app, when they needed it at say weekends, that would be ace.
Comments are welcomed, here’s the full govt proposals.