Under current regulations those of us unlucky enough to have passed our driving tests after January 1997 are unable to drive minibuses unless in a completely voluntary capacity (we are not automatically given the D classification on the license). I am a youth worker working in schools in Southampton and am unable to drive a minibus until I have undertaken a full PCV test (the same test undertaken to drive a double decker bus). A safe driver scheme MIDAS already exists to promote safe driving of minibuses.
This is now causing huge issues for youth organisations and schools for whom a minibus is a vital part of off-site trips / residentials etc.. How is it that someone who passed there test pre 1997 is allowed (even those who are now OAP's!!) and someone post not? It cannot be a safety issue or everyone would have to get a PCV. It cannot be about the vehicle size as it does not cover vans (even commercial ones) of the same size etc. It is simply a piece of ill thought out extremely annoying and complicated legislation which is directly affecting third sector groups and schools delivering services to young people.
let us all have cat D automatically on licences and those wishing to provide a commercial service some kind of extra test such as MIDAS. We all want our children to be safe but this is not helping but hindering.