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HGV Drivers (Diabetes)

Volume 522: debated on Thursday 27 January 2011

9. When his Department plans to publish its consultation on changing the law to allow UK nationals with diabetes to drive heavy goods vehicles in the UK. (36302)

The Department for Transport plans to publish the consultation document very soon. We welcome views from anyone interested in the proposed changes and will consider all representations before making our final decisions.

I thank the Minister for that reply. She will be aware from correspondence that my question arises from a rather long-running constituency case, which is not untypical of those of other hon. Members across the Chamber. Given that the EU directive dates back to August 2009 and that we have an utterly inconsistent position in the UK—registered diabetic heavy goods vehicle drivers from elsewhere in the European Union can drive on our roads, whereas UK-registered diabetic HGV drivers cannot—can she give some consideration as to how quickly this glaring anomaly can be cleared up?

We will certainly be working hard to get the consultation document out as quickly as possible. However, given that what is being contemplated is a relaxation of current road safety rules, I am sure that my right hon. Friend will agree that this is not something to be undertaken lightly. We must ensure that we take the time to consider all the relevant factors to ensure that it is safe to make the change.