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News Report Page 4 of 12
Publication Date:-
2024-04-12
 
News reports located on this page = 2.

Research by LeaseLoco has found Research young drivers still below Pre-Pandemic levels despite record number of people with full UK driving licences

ACCORDING to data analysed by car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, the number of people holding full UK driving licences has surpassed a significant milestone, exceeding 42 million for the 1st time.

The most up to date driving licence data from the DVLA, issued by the Department for Transport (DoT) has reveals that:- 42,120,966 people now hold a full UK driving licence, compared to:- 41,570,822 a year ago, an increase of 550,144.

DVLA data also shows that the number of licensed drivers on UK roads has increased by more than 1 million in the past 2 years, with:- 41,075,262, in February 2022.

Despite full licence holders reaching record highs, the number of qualified drivers aged:- 16 to 25 have not returned to Pre Pandemic levels.

The latest DVLA figures reveal there are:- 3.05 million licensed drivers aged:- 16 to 25 in the UK, an increase of just over:- 75,000 in the past 12 months. However, this is still down 8% on the number of young drivers in March 2020, just before the country went into lockdown.

In March 2021, during the Pandemic, when driving lessons and tests were suspended, there were 2.97 million young people with full driving licences.

This was the lowest level since current records began, and down significantly compared to:- March 2020, when qualified drivers aged:- 16 to 25 stood at:- 3.32 million. In November 2012 the number of young drivers reached:- 3.42 million.

Reflecting an ageing population, the number of people aged 70 or over holding a full driving licence surpassed six million for the 1st time, increasing by more than:- 200,000 (226,526) between:- February 2023 and February 2024.

When drivers reach 70, they have to renew their licence if they want to keep on driving. They are then required to renew their licence every three years after that.

DVLA figures also show that the number of people aged:- 80 or over, with a full driving licence increased, by more than 100,000 (139,003) compared to a year ago, and now stands at:- 1,788,280.

There are also a 3rd more centenarians with full UK driving licences than there were 2 years ago.
Age Number of UK drivers in the year...
2024 2023 2022 2012
70 or over 6,193,602 5,967,076 5,754,644 3,902,135
80 or over 1,788,280 1,649,277 1,554,459 1,059,683
90 or over 156,828 137,281 133,369 71,259
100 or over 672 510 505 162

John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, comments:- "The number of licensed drivers on UK roads has reached an all time high, underscoring the enduring popularity and convenience of car travel, especially among older individuals. For many seniors, owning a car serves as a vital link to social connection, a benefit particularly pronounced in rural areas where public transportation options may be limited or unreliable. The modest growth among younger drivers is understandable, given the current cost of living crisis. Nevertheless, we anticipate a significant up tick in the number of younger drivers as the financial burdens associated with car ownership and maintenance become more manageable."


New proposals just the ticket for getting young people into transport

YOUNG people could soon find more careers in transport, following Government proposals to lower the minimum age requirements for bus and coach drivers and speed up training for bus, coach and lorry drivers.

ON 11 April 2024, Roads Minister Guy Opperman has launched a consultation with the Department for Transport to remove a restriction that currently states that:- 18 to 20 year old bus and coach drivers can only drive routes up to 50km.

While they can already drive an articulated lorry with no distance limit, currently a fully trained:- 18 to 20 year old driver can't operate a coach from:- London to Manchester, or the scenic Coastliner bus route across:- Leeds, York, Yorkshire Coast, due to the 50km restriction. These proposals are looking to change that.

With more bus and coach drivers safely trained to drive on our roads, bus operators could be able to run more services, especially in rural areas where bus routes tend to be longer.

This will bring more reliable services and help passengers travel with confidence.

This comes on top of further proposals for prospective bus, coach and HGV drivers to start theory and off road training right away, rather than having to wait to have their provisional licence, meaning they can get started on their training journey immediately.

More qualified lorry drivers will support a stronger haulage sector, helping ensure medical supplies reach hospitals, parcels are delivered on time and supermarket shelves are always stocked.

If the proposals are introduced, all prospective bus, coach and HGV drivers will be held to the same training requirements as before to ensure Britain's roads remain among the safest in the world, but will mean drivers can complete training and get working more quickly.

The amendments to:- 'Licensing Restrictions for Bus, Coach and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)' consultation will last 7 weeks, with the Government aiming to respond within 12 weeks.

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said:- "Being a bus, coach or lorry driver can be an excellent career for young people and these proposals could help get younger talent into transport, encouraging diversity in the sector. This could be a win win, not only improving job opportunities for those leaving School, but also going some way to continue to ease driver shortages, delivering more reliable bus and coach services and a more resilient supply chain as part of our plan to grow the economy."

With industry data estimating the national bus driver shortage to be 6.6% and the coach driver shortage at 13.6%, the measures could open up a brilliant career in transport to younger people, tackle driver shortages and help improve the reliability of bus and coach services, growing the economy to deliver a brighter future for all.

Graham Vidler, Chief Executive, Confederation of Passenger Transport, said:- "We warmly welcome this consultation on two key proposals championed by CPT to address the challenge of driver shortages faced by the coach and bus sector. Allowing new recruits to get on with off road training while awaiting their provisional licence will ensure more trainees complete the course and become safe, qualified bus or coach drivers. As 18 year-olds are allowed to drive an articulated lorry already, there is a clear case for allowing them also to drive all types of coach and bus services."

In particular, the proposals could help family run British businesses like Stanley Travel recruit more drivers, providing more services and greater choice for local travellers.

Andrew Scott, Director of Stanley Travel, said:- "As a medium-sized, family run coach company, we're always looking to attract younger bus and coach drivers to our sector. We fully welcome these proposals which would remove the entry barriers to the industry, help us run more services to provide customers with greater choice, and open up fantastic careers as a coach driver for young people."

The consultation comes only a few weeks after local Councils in England have been allocated £143 million to roll out almost a thousand zero-emission buses and deliver cleaner, smoother and better bus journeys for all.

The Department has also invested over £3.5 billion since 2020 to protect and improve bus services, in addition to £1 billion to improve bus services in the North and the Midlands and extend the £2 bus fare cap to the end of this year, both thanks to reallocated HS2 funding.

Lorry drivers are already benefitting from better working conditions following a total £31 million in joint Government and industry investment to improve truckstops up and down the country by delivering better rest areas, improved welfare facilities and more secure lorry parking.

Declan Pang, RHA Director of Public Affairs and Policy, England said:- "We have long supported proposals to attract younger people into the role and address the ageing coach driver workforce which is a barrier to the sector's growth. The age restrictions have constrained the sector's ability to attract young people and, considering someone can drive an HGV from 18, puts the coach sector at a disadvantage. These proposals could improve prospects for coach operators and we look forward to seeing them implemented."

If the outcome of the consultation supports the measures, they will be implemented as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

The consultation can be found online at:- Gov.UK.

 
      
 
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