HGV drivers will only have to take one test rather than two, the Government has announced, in a move designed to help quell shortages.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said up to 50,000 more HGV driving tests would be made available, with drivers now only having to take one test to drive both a rigid and articulated lorry.

Previously, this needed two separate tests spaced three weeks apart.

It comes amid huge issues in supply chains in recent months, leaving some shop shelves empty, or forcing restaurants to remove items from their menus.

But the DfT said tests will also be made shorter by removing certain elements which can then be tested separately.

And car drivers will also no longer have to take another test to tow a trailer or caravan, freeing up more examiner time to carry out HGV tests.

However, Labour raised safety concerns and said the move was a "recipe for disaster".

It comes after the boss of the Food and Drink Federation said that the days when UK consumers could expect to pick up nearly whatever product they want whenever they want from supermarket shelves are over.

Ian Wright, the body's chief executive, said that a shortage of lorry drivers is in part due to them moving to online retailers and starting to deliver for Amazon and Tesco.

These jobs often have better hours and pay, he added.

The farm-to-fork supply chain is missing around half a million of the four million people that usually work in the sector.