CommercialFleet

HGV driving test centres with shortest lead times revealed

Lorry driver in cab

More that half of the UK’s HGV driving test centres currently have a waiting time of more than three months, but some sites can offer tests within one week.

A freedom of information request by Driver Hire Training reveals which sites have the longest and shortest lead times for tests.

The highest waiting times were found in Aberdeen, Lerwick and Machrihanish where there is a current waiting time of 24 weeks for a HGV driving test.

One in five test centres only had a waiting time of 1-4 weeks, showing that waiting times are starting to clear up in some areas.

Although seven test centres had waiting times of one week, Cumbria, Isle of Wight and South Yorkshire were the counties with the shortest waiting times across their test centres, averaging out to just one week.

The study reveals the average waiting time across the UK’s 69 test centres is nine weeks.

John Keelan-Edwards, group technology services director at Driver Hire Training, said: “The pressure on driver supply is down to so many factors including the likes of Brexit, tax regulations, and a significant fall in the number of people who are actually able to take a commercial vehicle driving test due to the prolonged effects of the pandemic.

“Although the government are changing rules to HGV tests to help pass eager drivers through their exams quicker, it’s no surprise to see the waiting list for these exams is still up to 24 weeks in some areas, as coronavirus is still adding pressure to examiners up and down the country. However, it’s also great to start to see those waiting times come down in some places.”

Earlier this month, the Government announced changes to the HGV driver test in order to free up capacity for 50,000 additional tests per year. It also plans to issue temporary visas for up to 5,000 HGV drivers to come to the UK for three months in the run-up to Christmas, providing short-term relief for the haulage industry.

Test centres where waiting times are currently the longest:

Test Centre

County

Waiting Time (Weeks)

Aberdeen South (cove)

Aberdeenshire

24

Lerwick

Shetland

24

Machrihanish LGV

Argyll

24

Wick

Caithness

12

Aberdeen North

Aberdeenshire

11

Atherton (Manchester)

Greater Manchester

11

Beverley LGV

East Yorkshire

11

Birmingham (Garretts Green)

West Midlands

11

Bishopbriggs

Lanarkshire

11

Blackburn with Darwen

Lancashire

11

Bredbury (Manchester)

Greater Manchester

11

Burton on Trent

Staffordshire

11

Camborne

Cornwall

11

Darlington LGV

County Durham

11

Dumfries LGV

Dumfries and Galloway

11

Elgin

Moray

11

Exeter LGV

Devon

11

Featherstone

South Staffordshire

11

Glasgow LGV

Lanarkshire

11

Gloucester

Gloucestershire

11

Gosforth

Tyne and Wear

11

Guildford

Surrey

11

Kilmarnock LGV

East Ayrshire

11

Kirkcaldy

Fife

11

Kirkham LGV

Lancashire

11

Lancing

West Sussex

11

Leicester (cannock Street)

Leicestershire

11

Leighton Buzzard (Standbridge Road)

Bedfordshire

11

Livingston

West Lothian

11

Llantrisant

Glamorgan

11

Newport (Gwent) LGV

Monmouthshire

11

Perth (Arran Road)

Perth and Kinross

11

Shrewsbury

Shropshire

11

Southampton LGV

Hampshire

11

St Helens (Liverpool)

Merseyside

11

Steeton

West Yorkshire

11

Swindon LGV

Wiltshire

11

Switch Island

Merseyside

11

Thurrock LGV (London)

Essex

11

Walton LGV

Suffolk

11

Watnall

Nottinghamshire

11

Weedon LGV

Buckinghamshire

11

Wrexham LGV

Denbighshire

11

 

Test centres where waiting times are currently the shortest:

Test Centre

County

Waiting Time (Weeks)

Carlisle LGV

Cumbria

1

Chelmsford (Hanbury Road)

Essex

1

Lincoln

Lincolnshire

1

Plymouth LGV

Devon

1

Rookley LGV

Isle of Wight

1

Sheffield (Handsworth)

South Yorkshire

1

Taunton

Somerset

1

Poole

Dorset

2

Stornoway LGV

Outer Hebrides

2

Culham LGV

Oxfordshire

3

Greenham

Berkshire

3

Gillingham LGV

Kent

4

Orkney

Orkney Islands

4

Peterborough LGV

Cambridgeshire

4

 

Driver shortage crisis under the spotlight at Fleet & Mobility Live

Logistics UK and Driver Require will explore ways in which the UK can address the current HGV driver shortage crisis as part of an in-depth session at this year's Fleet & Mobility Live.

Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s policy manager for Wales, Midlands and South West, will give a presentation looking at some of the ways the Government is being engaged on policy to help remove some of the barriers to progress.

Yarsley said: “We’re working with the Government across multiple departments, including the Department for Transport (DfT), Department for Education (DfE) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look at how policy can address the driver shortage.

“This includes boosting apprenticeships and access to funding there, as well as introducing short term visas to attract European drivers to help address the shortage.

“There are even things to do with infrastructure and facilities for lorry drivers that can make the profession less appealing, so there are many areas where policy can make a difference.”

Kieran Smith, chief executive at specialist HGV driver recruitment business Driver Require, will then reveal the latest results from the company’s Think Tank report.

Driver Require has been tracking the UK’s HGV driver shortage issue for a number of years prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and then more closely to investigate the way forward due to the impact of Covid-19 on the UK haulage sector.

The previous report in May had predicted that the unprecedented events of the last 12 months would lead to a driver shortage crisis in the coming months.

Smith said: “As a supplier to the haulage sector, Driver Require had already experienced a significant increase in demand and a scarcity of quality drivers – and agency driver pay rates are escalating at a frightening pace.

“As a temporary recruiter, we are at the coalface of the crisis but it will be our clients and ultimately businesses and consumers who rely on the movement of goods across the UK who will pay the greatest price.

“We need to raise the profile of this issue, dispel common perceptions and provide industry key influencers and decision makers the opportunity to act to secure the UK’s economic recovery.”

The full agenda for Fleet & Mobility Live is now available to view and registrations are open and free to fleet decision-makers.


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