D1 Licence Training

Transport – in the House of Commons at on 16 May 2024.

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Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Chief Whip

Whether his Department provides grants for the provision of training for D1 licences.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Although we do not provide direct funding for drivers to obtain D1 licences, the Department makes available more than £3 million a year through the bus service operators grant to community transport operators in England, which are predominantly charities operating vehicles that require D1 licences. They receive £1.60 for every £1 claimed, reflecting the increased costs faced by the sector, and supporting them to continue delivering inclusive and accessible transport across the country.

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Chief Whip

I thank the Minister for that answer. In Scotland, as across the rest of the UK, there has been a shortage of minibus drivers, with Brexit and the legacy of covid fuelling a crippling shortage of bus drivers. Passenger-carrying vehicle drivers can pursue careers in various fields, including public transport, tour and travel companies, school transportation and private charter services. What more can the Government do to incentivise such training?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The hon. Gentleman might not be aware of the recent consultation to reduce the age requirement for bus and HGV drivers from 21 to 18, and I encourage him to speak to the Department for Work and Pensions. We are working closely with the relevant Ministers at DWP to have sector-based work academies and skills boot camps, to encourage greater participation by drivers.