It’s come to our attention that driving test examiners across the UK are set to stage a two-day strike, coinciding with the launch of the new look driving test on 4 December, 2017. We understand that 2,000 examiners will participate in the walkout, potentially affecting ‘thousands of driving tests.’
Driving test examiners look set to stage a 48-hour strike on the day that the new look driving test is launched, following a row over working conditions. The Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union announced that up to 2,000 of its members will participate in the exodus and warned that thousands of driving tests could be hit.
Meanwhile, an overtime ban and ‘work to rule’ will also take place from 23 November, which could result in last minute driving test cancellations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Driving test examiners told to ‘work longer’
According to the PCS, driving test examiners are being asked to work longer and harder for no extra pay once the new look driving test is introduced on 4 December. The test has been changed to better prepare learner drivers for ‘real-world’ driving conditions.
Test changes include the introduction of a sat nav section, which requires candidates to drive following sat nav instructions rather than road signs. Meanwhile, manoeuvres such as the three-point turn and the reverse around the corner have been scrapped in favour of bay parking. Candidates will also be quizzed with a safety question while driving.
The PCS is demanding that the new test is suspended, pending a full safety review and wants a maximum limit of six tests a day for driving test examiners.
Striking driving test examiners an insult to learner drivers
Chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Gareth Llewellyn, said: “The fact PCS is trying to undermine the launch of the new test by calling for strike action shows a shameful disregard for both road safety and learner drivers who have worked so hard to be ready to take their test.”
According to Llewellyn, the launch of the new driving test will pave the way for new drivers to acquire the ‘skills they need’ to assist them with a life time of safe driving. He said: “It is one step in helping reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain's roads.”
“During the last three years the changes – which are welcomed by most examiners, road safety experts, disability groups and instructors – have been developed and trialled extensively with a wide range of our staff, learners and other organisations. Over 4,000 candidates were involved in the trial,” Llewellyn added.
Llewellyn did meet with the PCS on 2 November and according to him, the PCS turned down an offer of mediation, but he says his offer still stands. Llewellyn argues that the DVSA and PCS are currently unable to move forward together to resolve the dispute and in the end, it’s Britain’s learner drivers who will lose out.
Watch this space! Meanwhile, you’d best get booking your practical driving test…
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