A DRIVER has spoken of his ordeal after a mix-up over whether he was fit to get behind the wheel almost cost him his job.
Kevin Bedford was stripped of his driving licence by the DVLA in May after he collapsed and needed hospital treatment following a chest infection.
I’m relieved this has finally come to an end. What with Christmas coming up, I want to get back into work full-time.Kevin Bedford
The organisation ruled in May – two months after Mr Bedford fell ill – that he wasn’t well enough to get behind the wheel – despite medical records proving he was.
The 54-year-old, of Cowplain, then spent months making the case he could drive again – and having a licence was essential as he worked as a van driver for Euro Car Parts, in Farlington.
The DVLA this week has finally agreed that Mr Bedford can drive again – but it almost left him without a job as his employer reviewed whether he was well enough to continue working. Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery also stepped in to help.
Mr Bedford carried out a temporary role in the company’s warehouse while he was off the road.
Speaking about the end of the ordeal, he said: ‘It’s really got me down. All I want to do is get back to work and drive my van. The DVLA had been fobbing me off. I’m relieved this has finally come to an end. With Christmas coming up, I want to get back into work full-time.
‘I’ve had to rely on my brother to get me about.’
Despite paperwork being filed in June by Corporate Health proving he was fit, the DVLA’s stance did not change. Mr Bedford says he was then told by its medical team it had no record of the documents.
With still no end in sight, Mr Bedford’s employer called a meeting last month to review his future in the company.
But this week, Mr Bedford finally received a call from the DVLA to say it had decided to issue back his licence.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘As soon as Mr Bedford contacted me this week, I wrote to the DVLA to urgently ask them to look into this case and to explain in detail why it has taken so long to sort out.
‘The rules are there to protect the public from drivers not safe to be on the road, but it very much appears this is not the case with Mr Bedford.’ The DVLA did not comment despite enquiries by The News.