Truck drivers in danger of losing their licences because GPs and private providers are no longer carrying out D4 medicals during the COVID-19 pandemic have accused the DVLA of throwing them to the wolves.

Despite assurances from two Conservative MPs to their constituents two weeks ago that DVLA was about to announce the delay of D4 medicals – possibly for a year – it has yet to take any action.

It is estimated that around 10,000 HGV drivers a month are legally required to undergo a driver medical in order to renew their licences, but HGV drivers have been unable to do so during the lockdown.

There appeared to be some movement on the issue on 1 April when Swindon MP Robert Buckland wrote to a constituent saying that “ministers have agreed to suspend the requirement for a D4 for a period of time, likely up to a year. The DVLA will update their website to reflect, if they haven't already.”

A week later on 8 April, South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom sent an email to Loraine Yelland, wife of lorry driver Paul Yelland, who is currently carrying out essential deliveries.

Leadsom said: “We’ve ‘sort of’ been told that it will be resolved in the next few days. I don’t want to get your hopes up at all but there are lots of MPs raising the same issue.”

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Having heard nothing since, Mrs Yelland contacted DVLA this week. She told “The DVLA medical department has told me categorically - get a medical or no licence - Paul will lose his job without his licence, so in a couple of weeks he will be unemployed. I have emailed every MP again and nothing.”

Another HGV driver, who declined to be identified, told us: “This has been going on for weeks. I am told I am a key worker and yet I am about to lose my job and I could lose my home. We have been let down badly by DVLA – they’ve just thrown us to the wolves.”

Tom Cotton, RHA head of licensing and infrastructure policy, this week called for DVLA to allow drivers to self-certify for a period of three months.

He said: “Action on this was supposedly “imminent” for the last fortnight. We are already 60,000 drivers short in the UK and losing drivers daily to furloughing and now drivers who can and are working are being forced out of a job for lack of a D4 medical. Something has to be done, right now.”

Dr Grant Charlesworth-Jones, medical director at D4 medical provider D4Drivers, which has been unable to carry out D4 medicals during the lockdown, also called for action.

He said: “There are at least 10,000 D4 medicals carried out in the UK each month. As this lockdown continues that will only increase and once it gets to 30,000, how on earth are providers supposed to tackle the backlog?”

Asked if DVLA had plans to suspend D4 medicals a spokeswoman told us: “Our haulage sector is vital to our response to COVID-19 and it’s crucial that we help to keep the industry on the road at this time.

“This is something we are looking at very closely and we hope to be able to update shortly.”