Under current plans, as of Jan 2014 any professional driver of PCV's or HGV's who took their test and became qualified in a Automatic vehicle will be allowed to start driving Manual vehicles without any further training or assessment as long as at a minimum they are qualified to drive a manual car.
Read more below:
As of January the DSA are making some changes to cat A, C, D licences (bike, truck, bus)
The main point,
If you are a qualified truck or bus driver for any number of years (or future) and you trained and took your test in a Automatic they are planning to upgrade your licence to a full manual without any extra training or assessment so long as at a minimum you can drive a manual car.
Driving a manual bus or truck is totally different to driving a car, many different variables, different gearbox types, types of shift, etc. as such extra training is a must, being able to handle a large vehicle with just a go & stop peddle is totally different to being able to handle a large vehicle, as well as a heavy temperamental clutch, and heavy complicated gearbox of upto 12 or even 16 gears and in no way relate to a simple 5 or 6 speed car.
There was a government consultation on this, under-publicised, hardly heard of, then after only 339 responses they passed these changes and they will be coming into force in Jan.
In my opinion this is inherently wrong and dangerous and should be re-considered.
To trigger a commons debate you need 100,000 signatures but if it exceed 350 then clearly I exceed the consultation total and as such the DSA should re-consider or re-open the consultation.
The petition to make sure the people driving heavy buses and trucks through your town and past your houses are adequately qualified to operate the vehicles they are driving can be found herehttp://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/56389