HGV applicants waiting three months for licence test
Applicants for HGV licences are waiting three months to do a lorry driving test at nearly two thirds of testing centres in the UK.
62 per cent of HGV test centres currently have a waiting list of at least 11 weeks, indicating the severe shortage of lorry drivers causing the UK economy to grind to a halt will not end anytime soon.
A freedom of information request filed by Driver Hire Training found the average waiting time to conduct a HGV test across the UK is over two months.
Three testing centres in Scotland, Aberdeen South, Lerwick and Machrihanish have waiting times of at least 24 weeks.
John Keelan-Edwards, at Driver Hire Training, told City A.M.: “The primary cause of the delays at DVSA test centres is down to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“For a large part of the past year or so, social distancing measures meant that no in-vehicle training or testing could take place, and this caused an inevitable backlog. The RHA suggests that at least 30,000 HGV driver testing slots were cancelled last year.”
“There are also some challenges in recruiting additional testers – this is just one of many roles in the logistics sector and across the economy at the moment where candidates are in short supply.”
A paucity of lorry drivers has caused the British economy to snarl up, leaving consumers struggling to get their hands on basic products.
Despite there being plentiful fuel supply, a breakdown in the normal functioning of the British logistics system has forced petrol stations across the country to close.
Supermarket shelves have been left empty as a result of snags creeping into the supply chain. Lengthier delivery times, engineered by lorry driver scarcity, has caused food to spoil.
Low CO2 levels, partly the result of suppliers turning off production due to soaring natural gas prices making it unprofitable to produce the resource, has restricted food production. CO2 is used to stun animals before slaughter and to package food.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows around one in six people are unable to buy essential food items due to them not being available.
The government has relaxed visa rules for around 5,000 and 5,500 HGV and poultry workers respectively. Meanwhile, Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, confirmed today soldiers will start driving petrol tankers to forecourts within days.
Endemic shortages interlaced throughout the economy has revealed how vulnerable the just-in-time UK supply chain model is to sudden bouts of high consumer demand.
Just in time supply chains work by businesses holding enough stock to cope with normal levels of demand to keep costs down, but not enough to fulfill above average order levels.