Haulage groups criticise plan to solve driver shortage

30 July 2021

The Government may now have responded to warnings from the industry of a severe shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers but the outlined plans have been criticised by two of the main UK haulage industry groups for being too focused on the long term.

Logistics UK said that the latest proposals fail to deliver on the critical promises made to the industry over three years ago on the need to increase safe and secure parking facilities for drivers across the nation’s road network.

Policy Director, Elizabeth de Jong, said: “The lack of available overnight parking spaces continues to be a huge impediment to attracting more people to join the industry and we need the government to make a far clearer commitment to deliver the 1500 parking spaces it promised in 2018.”

Although praising the focus placed by the Government on increased HGV driver testing with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), she pointed out that, without targets and a workable timeline, this is simply a statement of intent.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has given the Government proposals a similarly chilly reception, again highlighting that they will do little to help firms in the short-term.

Chief Executive Richard Burnett said, “This is a step in the right direction long term, but it doesn’t address the critical short-term issues we’re facing. The problem is immediate, and we need to have access to drivers from overseas on short-term visas.”

The RHA continues to call on Ministers to put HGV drivers on the Home Office Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

See also our previous article on the issue — “Plan to support haulage industry recruitment”.