Last reviewed 21 June 2022

Parliament’s Transport Committee recently issued a report, Road Freight Supply Chain, which called for minimum standards for planning, facilities and employers’ treatment of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

The report said that the Government should set minimum quality standards for driver facilities covering security, toilet and shower facilities, food options and services for female drivers.

Ministers should give the haulage industry two years to provide suitable facilities for drivers and threaten a tax on operators if it fails to do so, the Committee concluded.

It was particularly critical of the fact that many HGV drivers are forced to park overnight in laybys or other unsuitable locations because of a lack of proper facilities. This is unsafe as it leaves drivers vulnerable to crime and is not conducive to rest and recuperation.

The report’s recommendations have been backed by Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council (BSC), who said that the “frankly squalid conditions” presently available to drivers are forcing people to leave the sector in droves.

“Last year, for example, nearly a third of the people who had just joined voted with their feet and left,” he pointed out. “This has a knock-on effect on the whole supply chain, exacerbates the cost-of-living crisis, and the Government must work harder with the sector to raise its game and retain its workforce better.”

Mr Robinson agreed that setting minimum quality standards for driver facilities, including for women drivers, makes sense. The Government should take note of this important report and act on its recommendations, he concluded.