Professional drivers renewing their licences will not have to worry about the D4 medical after the government finally agreed to relax the requirement following mounting criticism it was failing to act.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the temporary removal of D4 medicals would ensure that HGV drivers can continue their “vital work and keep the country moving”.

The development came after many drivers feared they would lose their licence because GPs and private providers were no longer carrying out the medical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FTA accused the government of dragging its heels over the issue, because a “workaround” had been devised behind the scenes and yet no official announcement had been made.

Read more

It said the situation was now critical.

Under the new scheme, drivers will be able to receive a temporary one-year licence, providing they don’t have any medical conditions that affect their driving and their current licence expires this year, or has expired since 1 January.

The driver will need to submit a completed D4 when the licence is next due for renewal.

The Department for Transport said this temporary change would not only keep 30,000 drivers on the road each month, but would also relieve pressure on NHS staff who were working hard on the frontline to tackle coronavirus and help parts of the emergency services to deliver their critical role.