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Three driving changes confirmed to help solve lorry crisis and empty shelves

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed a string of changes to driving tests to help fix the HGV driver crisis. The UK is currently short of around 90,000 to 10,000 lorry drivers

The UK is currently short of around 90,000 to 10,000 HGV drivers (

Image: Getty Images/Cultura RF)

Three driving test changes have been confirmed to help solve supply chain issues being caused by a shortfall of lorry drivers.

The UK is currently short of around 90,000 to 10,000 HGV drivers, with the issues being blamed on a combination of coronavirus restrictions and Brexit.

Businesses have been struggling against the shortfall, with supermarket shelves left empty and restaurants forced to take items off the menu.

McDonald's, Nando's and Wetherspoon are just some of the places that have been hit by supply chain issues.

In a statement made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, it has now been confirmed that plans to tackle the shortage of HGV drivers will go ahead.

Do you think enough is being done to solve the HGV driver crisis? Let us know in the comments.

Supermarket shelves have been left empty in recent weeks (

Image:

PA)

It follows a summer consultation that was held to draw up ideas on how the crisis would be solved.

The measures all involve changes to driver tests, rather than working conditions and pay - two other factors that are also said to be contributing to fewer drivers on the road.

There is thought to be a huge backlog of HGV tests following the Covid crisis.

Mr Shapps said: "Over the summer, we consulted on three measures which will substantially increase the number of vocational driving tests available.

"I can announce today, September 10, 2021, that we will proceed with the measures we consulted on."

Here are the changes that will take place, which the government says will make up to 50,000 more driver tests available each year.

No extra test to tow trailer or caravan

Car drivers will no longer need to take another test to tow a trailer or caravan, Mr Shapps confirmed.

The Transport Secretary said this will allow roughly 30,000 more HGV driving tests to be conducted every year.

No 'reversing exercise' element in tests

Tests will also be made shorter by removing the "reversing exercise" element.

For vehicles with trailers, the "uncoupling and recoupling" exercise will be scrapped.

No need for small vehicle licence first

Articulated vehicle drivers will no longer have to get a licence for a smaller vehicle first.

The government says this will allow about 20,000 more HGV tests each year and means drivers can gain licences more quickly.

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