Angry trucker claims he hasn’t been able to renew HGV license for a year

An angry trucker has claimed that he has been unable to renew his HGV license after it expired a year ago despite repeated calls to the DVLA.

The DVLA faces a backlog of 54,000 heavy vehicle applications, although the agency says 50,000 of the pending applications are for renewals and not for new drivers.

Truckers awaiting renewal can continue driving while they wait for their applications to be approved, the agency said.

However, some drivers claimed that they can only continue driving in the UK while they await renewal, while others said they have difficulty renting a car during the renewal process under current rules.

Deep, a heavy vehicle driver, told LBC yesterday that His license expired about a year ago and he claimed that he had been unable to obtain a replacement despite repeated calls to the DVLA.

He said: ‘They want Europeans to come and drive when we have people in this country who are waiting to drive, waiting to do these things and they can’t. It takes forever. ‘

Deep eventually reached out to someone at DVLA via email, only to be told to call the same number that he had been trying previously.

Another HGV driver said they “gave up” on the DVLA because “no one responds.”

A spokesperson for the DVLA said they would not comment on individual cases, but insisted they were addressing the delay.

The spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are prioritizing applications for provisional heavy vehicle licenses that are currently being issued in about 5 days and are looking for ways to speed up this process even further. More complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed as part of a driver’s license application, may face longer delays.

‘Most of the pending applications are renewals. Once a driver has submitted their application, they may be able to continue driving while we process it, as long as their doctor or optician has not told them that they should not drive. ”

The spokesperson also added that it is possible to drive up to 11 months after your license expires. There are currently 4,000 applications for provisional licenses for heavy vehicles.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.  Only six people are said to have worked there during the pandemic, leading to the current backlog of heavy vehicles.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea. Only six people are said to have worked there during the pandemic, leading to the current backlog of heavy vehicles.

Vehicles queue up to refuel at a gas station in West London yesterday, as fuel shortage concerns continue.

Vehicles queue up to refuel at a gas station in West London yesterday, as fuel shortage concerns continue.

The agency also denied claims by a whistleblower that the delay was due to a lack of staff at the Swansea headquarters of the DVLA.

The anonymous source told the Daily Star that only six employees worked in Swansea after the workers refused to return to the office due to concerns about Covid. The base previously made headlines after reports this year that more than 500 coronavirus cases were recorded there amid claims from employees that staff with symptoms were being encouraged to return to work.

The DVLA denied the reports and said they had staff in the office during the pandemic.

The DVLA base previously made headlines after reports this year that more than 500 coronavirus cases were recorded there amid claims from employees that staff with symptoms were being encouraged to return to work.

Some 6,000 workers are employed at DVLA’s Swansea site and 500 contracted the coronavirus in January, it was claimed.

The DVLA denied the reports and said they had staff in the office during the pandemic.

The agency said it had “ core staff on site during the pandemic, processing applications, including prioritizing key applications for workers at the start of the pandemic. ”

It comes as chaos takes hold of Britain’s gas stations amid fuel supply problems caused by a lack of heavy vehicle drivers. The shortage has also led to some supermarkets being left with empty shelves.

Yesterday Britain’s Commerce Secretary admitted that he cannot “guarantee” that the UK fuel crisis and truck driver shortage will not make it to Christmas for millions.

Kwasi Kwarteng’s warning came as retailers predicted that the lack of heavy duty vehicles and delivery drivers will affect supply chains and also drive up prices in December. The UK Hospitality trade association has said that pubs and restaurants face disastrous staffing and supply problems that threaten their Christmas.

There is a shortage of drivers in Europe, with the largest deficit in Poland, followed by Britain and Germany.

There is a shortage of drivers in Europe, with the largest deficit in Poland, followed by Britain and Germany.

It came about when UK roads are jammed with drivers queuing for fuel due to a lack of tanker drivers. In a series of crises for the country, rising gasoline prices have hit millions in the pocket and the shortage of CO2 damages the supply of food and beverages.

The government is introducing a temporary visa scheme that will allow the hiring of 5,000 heavy vehicle drivers and 5,500 poultry workers on three-month contracts in an attempt to solve fuel supply problems and a shortage of supermarkets.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said the plan would help end the ‘100 to 200’ shortfall of tanker truck drivers, adding that ministers are planning to train 4,000 additional truck drivers with help from the Army to reduce the ‘bottleneck’. in heavy vehicle driving tests.

However, carriers have warned that the fast-track trucker visas brought in at Christmas savings are “ too rare, too late, ” as the DVLA aims to address a backlog of 54,000 applications for heavy vehicle licenses. Which will take at least two months to pass. .

Ruby McGregor-Smith, president of the British Chambers of Commerce, compared the Department of Transport’s announcement to “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire.”

She said: “Even if these short-term opportunities attract the maximum number of people allowed under the scheme, it will not be enough to address the scale of the problem that has now developed in our supply chains.”

Scottish Food & Drink CEO James Withers said: “We have been applying for emergency visas for weeks to prevent the collapse of some food supply chains.

‘I seriously doubt that 10,000 three-month visas are going to cut it down. It may help the driver situation a bit, but it won’t address chronic shortages in food production. At this stage, my instinct is that this is too little, too late to make a real difference in the Christmas trade. ‘

Drivers queue up to refuel at a gas station in London again yesterday, the sixth day in a row, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public that the country's fuel supply crisis was `` stabilizing '' .

Drivers queue up to refuel at a gas station in London again yesterday, the sixth day in a row, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure the British public that the country’s fuel supply crisis was “ stabilizing ” .

To make matters worse, EU truck drivers are refusing to come to the UK, believing that the problems affecting the supply chain are Britain’s fault.

The government has approved plans to attract 5,000 foreign heavy vehicle operators to cope with the shortage, which has been attributed to a number of factors, including the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

But the promises of special visas and attractive pay, with some companies offering up to £ 78,000 a year, have fallen on deaf ears, with one union boss declaring that they ‘will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help the UK to get out of the shit they created themselves. ‘

And truck drivers in this country are equally disillusioned, with one leaving his job after 30 years, comparing the way they are treated “like the lepers of society.”

Edwin Atema, head of enforcement and investigation for the Netherlands-based union FNV, which represents drivers across the EU and Europe, said the UK has a huge battle on its hands to attract foreign drivers.

He said: ‘Payment is an important area, but not the only one. People in Europe and across Europe have completely lost confidence in this industry.

‘Before the coronavirus crisis and Brexit, this industry was already sick. Hounded by expectation, by irresponsible multinationals that drag prices, who ended up with drivers voting with their feet and exiting the industry.

“The EU workers we spoke to will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help the UK get out of the shit they created themselves.”

As the crisis continues to shatter, Tesco has warned customers to expect a return of panic shopping in the run-up to Christmas as bosses call on ministers to help end the truck driver shortage. .

The supermarket giant revealed that it currently suffers from a shortfall of about 800 HGV drivers as it urged the government to ease restrictions on foreign workers to help ease the supply chain crisis.

Despite being the UK’s largest supermarket chain and offering new hires a £ 1,000 bonus since July, Andrew Woolfenden, Tesco’s director of distribution and compliance, cautioned that they still couldn’t make up the lost numbers.

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