There is much concern from young drivers regarding the upcoming strike action that the public and commercial services union are planning. This strike action will last throughout December 2022 and January 2023. This is putting an enormous amount of strain on an already creaking driving test booking system. The Covid-19 pandemic led to 100s thousands of cancelled driving tests and the backlog is still extremely significant.
This added pressure on the booking system will do nothing to alleviate the genuine concerns that learner drivers are facing at the current wait to pass a driving test.
The strike action is set to affect the following test types:
However, it has been confirmed by the DVSA that learner theory tests will not be affected. Tests provided by a private provider will also not be affected but this is an extremely small portion and does not include any of the main types of tests.
The driving examiners who are striking are part of the PCS union. They are demanding a 10% pay rise, better pensions, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms. The government say that this is simply unaffordable currently. The latest estimates shows that over 500,000 people are still waiting for their driving test. This is a huge problem for both learner drivers and ADI driving instructors who will have to reorganise their schedules to accommodate the cancelled tests and the new bookings.
The PCS claim that 86.2& of the members they balloted voted for the strike action and therefore have a big mandate to carry out the strikes. The current strikes is just one in a long list of unions that have called for strikes.
This chart from the BBC shows the different departments that are striking when.
The PCS union is conducting a ‘rolling’ strike. This means that driving tests will be affected in different parts of the country at different times. The current schedule is as follows:
It is important to note that not all examiners are part of a union. Even those who are part of the PCS union may not wish to go on strike. This means that not all tests will be cancelled. You should still go to your tests even if your test falls on one of those dates. Your test will only be cancelled if you are contacted by the DVSA specifically.
If you are contacted by the DVSA and your test is cancelled, a new one will be re-scheduled for you within 5-10 working days. If your test is affected, you will be able to claim expenses if you are out of pocket.
Unfortunately, the PCS has not ruled out further strike action and strikes could continue through February and beyond if an agreeable offer cannot be obtained. However, strikes could also be averted if an agreement is reached soon.
If you are affected by the driving test strike action that is taking place, then your best option would be to find a driving test cancellation. You can search constantly to find a test yourself or alternatively you could use a cancellation checker service like ours to get an earlier driving test.