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Logistics UK urges DfT to withdraw periodic test from DCPC legislation as it could have “serious implications for road safety”

As one of the UK’s leading business groups representing logistics businesses, which are vital to keeping the UK trading, on 15 August Logistics UK wrote to the minister for transport regarding the Driver CPC review to represent its members and call for change.

“Logistics UK has been involved with the development of the DCPC regime since the outset,” says Kate Jennings, Director of Policy at Logistics UK in her letter to Richard Holden MP, “including helping shape the framework Directive 2003/59 when the UK was a member of the European Union.  

“Our members have shared their views of the implementation of the DCPC rules in DVSA working groups, the stakeholder review conducted between November 2021 and January 2022 and, most recently, in the public consultation that concluded in April 2023.  

“We welcomed the consultation as it reflected a great deal of what the logistics sector has been calling for over the past years to improve the current situation for drivers, such as a much-needed easement in the strict requirements surrounding the length of course modules and a welcome move to electronic enforcement rather than through the Driver Qualification Card.  

“Our members remain committed to the principles set out in the driver training legislation and in no way wish to see it dismantled.  

“However, there was one element proposed in the consultation, the periodic test, that is not supported by industry.  

“If taken forward into legislation, this would give vocational drivers the possibility to bypass all periodic training entirely following the initial qualification and replace it with a 1-1.5hr test.  

“Our members believe that this is likely to be abused by unscrupulous operators and/or drivers and would have a serious detrimental effect on driving standards for vocational drivers and, by extension, for road safety.  

“A vocational driver is currently required to undertake 35 hours of periodic training to continue to drive in a professional capacity, taken in five blocks of seven hours.  

“Given the flexibility in the legislation, this allows the driver, possibly in agreement with their employer, to choose modules that fit the requirements of their driving. This is what the sector strongly supports and wishes to see continue.  

“The proposed test, comprised of up to 50 questions, would need to cover the whole range of subjects, some of which would be completely irrelevant to the driver taking the test and therefore would represent a misallocation of resource.  

“Anecdotal evidence from our members is that, by and large, drivers do not like exams and a pass/fail test would put many off and possibly worsen the shortage of drivers as they simply drop out of vocational driving.  

“We outlined our position on the periodic test in our response to the consultation and we await the outcome.  

“While the responses and subsequent policy decision are considered, I wanted to write to you directly to highlight our concerns with this test proposal and the very strong support we have from our members in our opposition to it.  

“We want to see the reforms to the DCPC legislation progressed, but the proposal for the periodic test withdrawn entirely on the grounds that it removes all training from the driver training regime and could have serious implications for road safety going forward,” Jennings concludes. 

Logistics UK awaits a response to the letter and an update on the Department’s plans for reforms to DCPC legislation. 

Vocational driver training is undertaken through the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) and is a key factor in improving road safety. It offers continuous professional development, attracts new and returning employees to the sector and aligns with the government’s support for the sector, as part of the 33 initiatives to help alleviate the driver shortage.  


Published On: 24/08/2023 13:00:00


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In brief

TfL confirms introduction of road user charging on Blackwall Tunnel from 2025

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed it will introduce road user charging on the Blackwall Tunnel when the new Silvertown Tunnel opens in 2025, with charge levels still to be decided by TfL, to manage traffic demand and pollution levels.  

Logistics UK has consistently called for the Silvertown Tunnel project to be delivered as it will help with river crossings in East London and provide greater resilience for the capital’s road network. Its completion will also spread the traffic flow across this part of the capital, rather than funnelling it along one route.  However, the business group has always stressed that demand management measures should be focussed on those who have alternatives, eg private cars, rather than essential delivery and utility vehicle operators, who have very little alternative options to using the road network. Logistics UK has confirmed its members feel it  is extremely disappointing that TfL has confirmed that charges for freight vehicles will be higher than those for private vehicles, since this represents another tax on operations in London.

Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee opens inquiry into electric vehicles

Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee opens inquiry into electric vehicles  


The Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee has opened an inquiry into electric vehicles. The inquiry seeks to understand how the government will achieve deadlines for the phasing out of non-zero emission vehicles, and the costs – as well as benefits – associated with the 2030 phase-out date. The committee is seeking written evidence in the following topic areas:  

- The government’s approach to achieving 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates.  

- The EV market and acquiring an EV.  

- Experience of using an EV.  

- End of life disposal of EV.  

- National and regional infrastructure and charging issues.  

- International perspectives.  

The deadline for submissions is 15 September 2023 and while the enquiry has a strong focus on cars, Logistics UK will be responding on behalf of members who operate vans to ensure the needs of the sector are also recognised.  

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