HGV driver disaster: Haulage trade delivers stinging criticism of govt plans to ease scarcity | Enterprise Information

A haulage trade physique has rounded on the newest authorities plans to assist ease the scarcity of drivers – nonetheless estimated at 100,000 and delivering disruption throughout the economic system consequently.

Ministers together with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote an open letter, revealed by way of their Twitter accounts, to insist they understood the severity of the disaster and thanked the sector for its efforts to maintain the nation provided.

Virtually a fortnight after restrictions on drivers’ working hours have been relaxed, a session was launched on proposals to streamline the appliance course of for drivers searching for heavy items car (HGV) licences, enhance the variety of driving checks, assist enhance working circumstances, and minimize the price of coaching.

Different proposals included giving drivers extra official parking areas and boosting requirements of lorry parks to help retention.

“The motive force scarcity is effectively documented and its impacts on the broader economic system have gotten extra evident,” the ministers wrote.

However they once more refused to bow to calls for from the Street Haulage Affiliation (RHA) for non permanent entry to drivers from EU nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many international employees to return dwelling throughout lockdown, by no means to return.

New post-Brexit immigration controls have additionally been blamed for employees shortages in logistics and different sectors corresponding to building and hospitality.

A slew of companies have reported disruption to the motion of products and the RHA has warned of a threat to provides at supermarkets – an trade already battling staffing points due to present isolation guidelines.

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RHA chief govt Richard Burnett mentioned of the newest authorities bulletins: “This can be a step in the precise route long-term, but it surely would not tackle the essential short-term points we’re dealing with.

“The issue is speedy, and we have to have entry to drivers from abroad on short-term visas.

“The thought to simplify coaching and velocity up testing is welcome; together with encouraging recruitment it would solely enhance issues in a yr or two’s time.”

Mr Shapps mentioned: “I perceive the challenges confronted by drivers and operators proper now and whereas longer-term options should be led firstly by trade leaders, at the moment we’re saying this authorities is right here to assist.

“This set of measures will kickstart that assist, easing stress on the sector as we work collectively to draw new drivers, enhance circumstances and make sure the trade’s future is a affluent one.”

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