The DVSA has fallen short of its pledge to adapt its examiner resource to meet demand for HGV driving tests, with two-thirds of centres across the UK seeing an increase in the average waiting time for a vocational examination.

Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information (FoI) request reveal that at the beginning of August 2015, 33 of the 49 centres offering HGV driver tests in the UK had seen an increase in their waiting times compared with figures obtained by MT via an FoI in October 2014.

In January this year, the DVSA said: “We adapt our examiner resource to meet demand and have an ongoing programme to train examiners to deliver vocational tests.”

However, the average waiting time has risen from 3.1 to 5.4 weeks, or 75%, in the past 11 months.

The most notable increases in individual centres include those at Bristol and Leighton Buzzard, where waiting times  have risen from one to 11 weeks; Watnall, Notting-hamshire, which has risen from three to 11 weeks, and in Livingston, where times have jumped from three to 10 weeks.

Five of the test centres’ waiting times have remained the same during the period, while 11 saw a fall.

The most significant cut in waiting times was seen in Kirkham, where the average fell from seven weeks to one.

Although the long-trend term shows a marked fall in HGV licence acquisitions, the latest statistics from the DfT show the number of newly-qualified HGV drivers saw a 40% spike in Q1 2015.

DVSA head of operations Phil Lloyd said: “Demand for driving tests is increasing and we are working to ensure people can take their driving test as quickly as possible. As part of this, we are in the process of recruiting more HGV examiners. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the wait.”

The DVSA said candidates should check the online booking service for cancellations.