As people across the country are struggling to fill up their cars, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has explained how one case that he is helping with is indicative of a major cause of this crisis.
Toby has been working to help a trainee HGV driver in Chesterfield who is still unable to start his new job due to long delays at the DVLA and DVSA.
Aaron Gaden had been told at the start of his training that whole process should take 8-10 weeks, but it has now been over six months and he still hasn’t taken his practical test.
Mr Perkins said, “Aaron had to wait several months to secure his licence, then wait another six weeks before he could do his theory test, then a further six weeks to complete the training for the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and now has been informed it is likely to be another six weeks until he can do his practical test. We are absolutely desperate for HGV drivers and the Government need to sort this out so that Aaron, and thousands of other trainee drivers who are stuck in the system, can get on the roads and ensure food is on the supermarket shelves and petrol is available at the pumps.”
Mr Perkins has written to the Transport Secretary, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, regarding these delays, and has contacted the DVSA to try and help Aaron get a test immediately. Toby had already written to the Government regarding the bus driver shortage in Chesterfield that was being exacerbated by delays to provisional licences being issued.
Mr Perkins added, “I have been inundated with complaints about the DVLA and first raised concerns with the Government in summer last year when I was contacted by a HGV driver who was unable to work because his long delays to renewing his licence. It is incredibly frustrating that the chaos at the DVLA is still ongoing over a year later. My constituents deserve an explanation and an apology.”
Clearly the loss of foreign drivers following Brexit and the poor conditions that many HGV drivers face are also factors but this is one that government should be able to address urgently and would start to ease the wider driver shortage.