If you saw my twitter timeline on Saturday afternoon you’ll know I had my driving licence revoked. And I didn’t take it well.
To lay a bit of background I’ll explain a few things.
I had a Work Capability Assesment in January of this year. I was found fit to work.
I also had my DVLA health check and was given another 10 year medical license in January with no restrictions.
So, I moved house on the 22nd of February and sent away my license to update the address, as is required. No problems there.
As I still hadn’t gotten it back, I decided on Saturday, 19th May, to give them a call, since they’re open until 2pm.
After navigating the automated menu, which is a mixture of vocal and keypad commands, I reached an advisor.
Upon taking my details she said that; there was no record of having received a change of address request, so she put me on hold to find out more. A few minutes later and I’ve been cold transferred through to the medical team.
Arrogance & heartlessness
She asks me to confirm my new address for security, odd considering I’d just been told they didn’t have it. Then came the shock.
“The reason you’ve not received your license back is because it’s been revoked for non compliance with medical information requests”.
I needed a few seconds to take this in. I was shaking, heart pounding, I just couldn’t believe it. After asking why it was explained:
The Centre for Health Assesments, who did my Universal Credit medical, had reported me for being unfit to drive. (But fit to work). Do the DVLA had written to me to request more information.
The DVLA then sent letter 1, on the 21st of February, one day before I moved, asking me to fill in a medical form, and received no reply.
14 days later they sent another letter to my old address, despite having received my change of address request. Obviously they got no reply. In light of this, I was classed as non compliant and my license was revoked without notice.
I explained my situation and their glaring mistakes but, she was having none of it. ‘I should have updated my address quicker the rules are clear etc.’
As it’s been revoked, I have to apply for a whole new licence and go through the medical assessment again. No ifs, no buts. Four months this takes…
Conveniently they had just sent out the relevant forms I need to fill in, that very day. Could be a coincidence, but why wait two months to do it?
I pleaded to have it reinstated as, had I received the original letters, I’d have been allowed to continue driving under section 88 of the Road Traffic Act until the new medical assessment was complete. So why couldn’t I now? Apparently once it’s revoked it can’t be undone.
I was given an email to contact a higher level team who may, look into exceptional circumstances. (That email was sent straight away.)
The DVLA staff member was rude, unsympathetic and blamed me for not updating my address quickly enough. I will contact the DVLA regarding her conduct in due course.
This brings me to my main point.
Medically untrained staff reporting people
Since when did an untrained health assesors opinion overrule a hospital consultant? Plus, they found me fit to work but not to drive, all in one day?
If this is allowed to continue it sets a very dangerous precedent. If a government employee can overrule a professional who’s trained for years, we are in dangerous times.
But, we must remember,they already can.
DWP Hostile Environment
Jobcentre Plus employees can overrule a doctor’s fit note stating: “not fit for any type of activity”. You may not believe that, but I’ll cover it more at a later date, feel free to look it up.
This is proof of a hostile environment being conducted towards the sick and vulnerable by The Department for Work and Pensions.
It needs to change now.
I understand the first letter not being received. But why:
send the 2nd to my old address
when in possession of my new one?
Wait 2 months to send the forms I need to apply for my license again?
Why no letter informing me I have no driving licence?
There seem to be many; why’s but no answers. I can assure you I am seeking them out and appealing this asap.
What next for me?
The situation for me now is extremely difficult. I live 15 miles away from well, anything. Shops, hospital, etc miles away. My doctor’s surgery is 7 miles away too.
To compound the problem, my local council withdrew the vital bus service our village had, to cut costs. For me to get anywhere now I face; a 3 mile journey along a windey 60mph road with no footpath, to get to my nearest bus stop, which also happens to be a verge. All totally useless and dangerous to a wheelchair user. Or
Getting my disabled father who’s on oxygen to come and get me, which I refuse to put him through.
I was upset at first but now I’m angry. I will keep you all updated as events develop.