To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how long the backlog is at the DVLA for HGV licence applications; how many staff currently process HGV licence applications; what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staff resources available to tackle application delays; and if he will make a statement.
On 22 September, there were 56,144 applications for vocational driving licences awaiting processing. These are a mix of first applications for a provisional vocational licence and renewals and include those applying for entitlement to drive both HGVs and buses. It is not possible to separate them out.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is prioritising applications for provisional vocational licences so these drivers can take their training quickly. Applications for provisional vocational licences are currently being processed within around 10 days of receipt.
It is important to note that the majority of those applying to renew their vocational licence will be able to continue to drive while their application is being processed.
It is not possible to specify how many staff are working on applications for HGV licences as most Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.
The DVLA continues to explore opportunities to reduce turnaround times for paper applications. Extra staff have been recruited and the DVLA is seeking extra office space to house more staff to help reduce backlogs and provide future resilience and business continuity.