DVLA looking to deal with HGV application backlog ‘as soon as possible’ amid fuel shortage10/04/2021
HGV crisis: 'Unreasonable' to blame Brexit says Rishi Sunak
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Recently, drivers around the country have been hit by petrol and goods shortages as a result of a lack of HGV drivers. According to the Road Haulage Association, there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.
Many have speculated as to the reason for the shortages, with Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and working conditions being some of the most common suggestions.
Last week, it was estimated that around 54,000 paper applications were still yet to be processed.
The DVLA have had their own hurdles in the past year with the pandemic having a huge impact on the licensing agency.
They were one of many victims of the ‘pingdemic’, with hundreds of cases being reported at their Swansea headquarters, with social distancing also taking a toll.
They have more recently been dealing with industrial action over working conditions.
Despite the hurdles the DVLA has been facing, they have been proactive in making it easier for HGV drivers to reapply for a new licence.
Lorry drivers are sent renewal reminders up to 56 days before their licence expires.
When it comes to lorry driving licences, paper applications may take longer given the potential for additional documents, including medical investigations.
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A DVLA spokesperson said: “Once a driver has submitted their driving licence application, they may be able to continue to drive while we are processing it, provided they have not been told by their doctor or optician they should not drive.
“There are delays in processing paper applications due to the impact of recent industrial action and social distancing requirements, which means that we have fewer staff than usual on site.
“We are dealing with paper applications as quickly as possible.
“To assist lorry drivers there is an ongoing scheme to issue one year licences to drivers aged 45 and over without a D4 if a driver is unable to get a D4 medical examination and has not previously been issued with a one year licence under the scheme.
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