HGV test waiting times slammed by trainers

The DVSA has admitted that the current waiting time for HGV driver tests at its Peterborough site is over three times the national average.

In response to driver training providers’ concerns about the lack of practical driving test places at the DVSA Peterborough LGV Test Centre, the DVSA said it plans to employ an additional permanent examiner at the site in early 2015. They will join the two full-time HGV examiners currently at the site. It will also train more of its current examiners to oversee Category C+E tests. 

It admitted the waiting time for tests at Peterborough is currently 10 weeks, compared with a national average of three weeks.

A DVSA spokesman said: “We are now allocating additional examiner resource at Peterborough on an occasional basis when required, and we plan to have additional permanent resource in place early next year.”

However, Tom Woods, owner at C-Way Driver Training, said that more needed to be done in the short term. “We’re trying to grow our business and next year we plan to take on more staff and more HGVs. How can we do that if they are crippling our business? In the last two weeks I’ve lost between £5,000 and £8,000 in business [due to this],” he said.

Woods, who has written to transport minister Claire Perry about the issue, also claimed the DVSA had offered late afternoon out-of-hours tests at Peterborough at a higher price.

“Why should I, as the trainer, and the driver, have to pay extra for them to fulfil their obligation to provide a test?” he said. “It’s not just in Peterborough – Weedon’s [Northamptonshire] is in the same position, as is Norwich.”

A DVSA spokesman said trainers registered with the agency can subscribe to receive email alerts to notify them if earlier test slots are available.