Swindon MP Robert Buckland has written to a constituent saying the need for drivers to undergo HGV driver medicals is to be suspended – possibly for a year - as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Buckland’s letter states: “I raised this issue with my government colleagues in the Department for Transport and their response was that ministers have agreed to suspend the requirement for a D4 for a period of time, likely up to a year. The DVLA will update their website to reflect, if they haven't already.” At the time of writing they hadn’t done so.
Confirmation of the suspension of D4 medicals would be met with relief by thousands of HGV drivers who are legally required to undergo a driver medical in order to renew their licences but have been unable to do so during the Covid-19 pandemic lock down. The pandemic has created a massive backlog of D4 medicals over the past few weeks with GPs instructed to postpone all non-NHS medicals work and major providers of D4 medicals suspending their services.
HGV drivers called on DVLA to announce the suspension immediately. Paul Yelland, an HGV driver currently carrying out essential deliveries, told us “I hope DVLA confirm this as soon as possible. If you look at DVLA’s Facebook page there are so many drivers contacting them, terrified of having their licences revoked and just getting the standard reply that DVLA is aware of the situation and will get back when any decision is made.
“It is not good enough. We are key workers and we are risking our health and our families' health every day to get essential supplies out and yet we have to put up with the stress of not knowing if our licences will be revoked because we cannot get a D4 medical.
“I have contacted DVLA on numerous occasions and even contacted my own MP and not had any confirmation. There are drivers out there that are terrified they are going to lose their jobs and their homes. It is a disgrace that it has taken this long and so we would just like absolute confirmation that this is the case from the DVLA as soon as possible."