Training provider Fleet Source has confirmed all its classroom-based courses have been cancelled until July, following criticism from one haulier that it was pressing ahead amid a viral pandemic.

Fleet Source, which provides training for Driver CPC, Fors and Clocs, said that “to ensure full compliance with government instruction on isolation, we have no choice but to cancel all classroom-based training courses up until the end of June 2020.”

However, Linda Woodcraft, MD at RD Woodcraft in Bedfordshire, said she had been “appalled” by Fleet Source’s attitude in the days leading up to the country’s lockdown as she tried to reschedule a safe urban driving course for three of her drivers, which was due to take place on 21 March.

She said: “We had a blazing row. They were refusing to cancel courses.

“I booked three of our drivers on to it long before the virus was even mentioned in the UK.

“I was asking: is it still going ahead? Is it cancelled? Rescheduled? And they said: no, it’s going ahead, we have a business to run.”

Woodcraft added: “I went mental. They are key workers, we need to keep them healthy! You are putting these drivers at risk.

“Their attitude has taught me that they view us haulage companies as just a means to obtain money.

“Considering the current crisis that we as a country now find ourselves in, we need to ask ourselves the question as to what the purpose is of so much of the compliance and legislation we must abide by to operate.”

A spokeswoman for Fleet Source confirmed that RD Woodcraft had received a refund for the course and added that its main priority was the welfare of its clients, their drivers and its colleagues.

In addition to course cancellations, a statement on its website said that the DVSA had announced all periodic classroom-based training must cease, but that the enforcement agency was providing temporary authorisation for approved courses to be delivered digitally:

“For the past few weeks, we have been developing a solution in the anticipation of this decision by the DVSA and we are pleased to announce that we will be launching Fleet Source Live in the next few days,” it added.

“This is a fully interactive, TV studio based DCPC distance learning solution.”