Driving instructors

Driving test examiners vote to strike amid workload dispute

Driving test examiners have voted to strike in protest against plans to increase the number of tests they take in a day.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) supported the action by more than 9-1.

The union has expressed concern about the health and safety implications of the increase in the number of one-day driving tests from next month.

The union said strikes will take place on October 11 and 12 unless the dispute is resolved.

The PCS also warned of further industrial action at the Swansea DVLA site in a separate row on Covid-related safety.

Office workers have been carrying out industrial action for months.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: ‘The Department for Transport is in crisis, the DVSA is gaffing and the DVLA is a dispute which could have been settled in June.

The union accused the DfT of intervening to prevent a deal to resolve the DVLA dispute.

Earlier today, Transport Secretary Grant Shapp said Brexit had instead helped provide solutions to shortages in the transport sector – allowing him to make changes to ease the “water bottleneck”. ‘throttling’ of the tests, which he could not have done otherwise if Britain was still a member of the Brussels bloc.

In June, Mr Shapps said there was a “very large backlog” of driving tests of “around 440,000” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grant Shapps joked to MPs ‘in my own house I have two teenagers who literally ask me the same questions every day of the week’.

His comments came after SNP Anum Qaisar-Javed raised the issue of the availability of driving tests.

She said one of her constituents had to travel to Blackpool to take his theory test and ‘is unable to take his practical test in a timely manner as there is a backlog of tests’.

Mr Shapps said a recovery plan was in place, adding: ‘I will personally make sure they follow through on this recovery plan.’

Speaking during Commons Transport Questions, the new MP for Airdrie and Shotts asked: ‘This is an issue which affects many of my constituents so will the department speak to the relevant agencies and consider- there to grant additional funds in order to create more localized tests?

Mr Shapps replied: ‘Can I tell him in my own house that I have two teenagers who literally ask me the same questions every day of the week.

“There is a very large backlog, around 440,000 due to the pandemic, there is a recovery plan that the agency has in place to increase the number of tests carried out each day and I will personally ensure that they are following this recovery plan. , because as she says, young people must be able to take their tests and pass them.

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