RHA and Logistics UK respond to consultation on driving licence rule changes

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Last week, the UK Government launched a consultation to gather industry opinion on a plan to allow all driving licence holders to drive trucks up to 7.5 tons. Logistics UK has said it welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the consultation, adding that the move could help with recruitment and ease pressure on operators. Meanwhile, the RHA has referred to the widespread misleading reporting of the plan, which has given some members of the public the impression that any licence holder would be allowed to drive an HGV.

RHA and Logistics UK respond to consultation on driving licence rule changes
Photo © Copyright Roger Kidd

Those not familiar with the aforementioned proposal can read our article on the subject here.

Following the UK Government’s announcement of the consultation, Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s Road Freight Regulation Policy Manager, made the following statement:

“Logistics UK welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the driver licensing review. Members have reported particular difficulties in recruiting drivers for vehicles up to 7.5t since the requirement for an additional test came into force in 1997. The safety of all road users must remain a top priority and Logistics UK will engage with this call for evidence to ensure there is no increased risk to road safety.

The proposal to permit a Category C licence holder (held for two years) to drive public service vehicles (PSVs) for maintenance and repair will ease pressures on operators. Logistics UK will review proposals that seek to improve standards in training by creating a formal register of instructors and publishing pass rates; initiatives that increase road safety are welcome, however must not place additional burden on industry.

Ahead of this call for evidence, Logistics UK highlighted to government that the zero-tailpipe emission fleet will be heavier than petrol and diesel vehicles, meaning weight thresholds – which are a quarter of a century old – will need to be reviewed to maintain fleet efficiency. Logistics UK will continue to communicate with government on this, and will include it within its response.”

The announcement by the UK Government also sparked a number of misleading headlines and feature images that suggested standard licence holders would be allowed to drive HGVs.

This didn’t go unnoticed by the RHA. Speaking about the news, RHA Policy lead for Skills, Sally Gilson, said:

“It is already being incorrectly reported that people will be able to drive a 44t without a test. This consultation is for C1 (up to 7.5t) and D1 (up to 16 passengers) only. This is entitlement that anyone who passed their test before 1997 already has on their licence. If anyone wants to drive a C1/D1 vehicle commercially, they will still require a DCPC – this is not a part of the consultation. We will respond in full to the consultation shortly.”

Photo © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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