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23 - 25 APRIL 2024 • NEC • BIRMINGHAM • UK
23 April 2024
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Youngsters set for truck licence boost

UK Government proposes early HGV driver training without provisional licenses to boost young participation and strengthen haulage sector.

News

The Government is hoping to persuade more young people to take up truck driving as a career by allowing people without a provisional driving licence to start theory and off-road training for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

More qualified truck drivers will support a stronger haulage sector, says the Department for Transport (DfT), helping ensure medical supplies reach hospitals, parcels are delivered on time and supermarket shelves are always stocked.

If the proposals are introduced, all prospective HGV, bus and coach and drivers will be held to the same training requirements as before. The proposal is included in the launch of a consultation to remove a restriction that currently states that 18 to 20-year-old bus and coach drivers can only drive routes up to 50km.The law already allows them to drive an articulated lorry with no distance limit.

Roads minister Guy Opperman said:

Being a bus, coach or lorry driver can be an excellent career for young people and these proposals could help get younger talent into transport, encouraging diversity in the sector. This could be a win-win, not only improving job opportunities for those leaving school but also going some way to continue to ease driver shortages, delivering more reliable bus and coach services and a more resilient supply chain as part of our plan to grow the economy.

Chris Yarsley, senior policy manager for road freight regulation at Logistics UK, said allowing young people to start their driver theory training before obtaining their provisional licences will kickstart their route into becoming HGV drivers.

However, he added:

It is worth remembering that driving a vehicle of this size is a technically challenging occupation, which is highly regulated for a reason and we will be ensuring as part of the consultation that all the necessary training for qualification as a safe and compliant driver is still achieved before taking to the roads.

End

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