Firms call on PM to tackle driver shortage
Driver shortage: Act now to prevent a Christmas crisis, say business leaders
- Business leaders call for urgent action to tackle the HGV driver shortage
- More than 1,600 leading hauliers and businesses have written to the Prime Minister calling for urgent action to address the escalating crisis
- Letter urges the Prime Minister to “personally intervene to find a full and workable solution to the critical shortage of HGV drivers”
The UK haulage industry and leading trade bodies have today (Monday 25 October) written to the Prime Minister urging him to implement immediate measures to address the HGV driver shortage.
While the Government have taken some steps to tackle the crisis, the solutions proposed won’t address the escalating shortage of 100,000 drivers in the short term.
The letter which is signed by major hauliers and trade bodies urges the Prime Minister to take swift action to:
It warns that without decisive action there’s a “risk of further damage to not only our businesses and livelihoods, but the UK’s integrated and finely balanced supply chains.”
The RHA and its members have long campaigned for improved conditions for lorry drivers. This includes an increase in lorry parking spaces, truck stops, investment in the road network, as well as improved apprenticeships and skills funding to encourage more people to join the industry as HGV drivers.
Rod McKenzie, RHA Managing Director, said:
“There has never been a more challenging time for the haulage industry. The Prime Minister must act now or risk even more drastic disruption than we have already seen in recent months.
“Our members are committed to working with Government on long-term solutions to attract more drivers into the industry. However, the Government is simply not addressing the short-term severity of this crisis given the 18 months it will take to invest in and train a UK workforce. Lacklustre and ill-conceived proposals such as a three-month visa will not work.
For months we have been urging for urgent action. The tin-eared approach from ministers to this spiralling situating cannot continue.”
Notes for editors
- Add HGV drivers to the Shortage Occupation List for a period of at least twelve months
- Extend and reform the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), encouraging experienced and retired drivers to immediately return to driving
- Convene an HGV driver taskforce that would see the haulage industry and Government work together
- The letter can be viewed here.
- RHA letter to the Prime Minister from June 2021.
- The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) is a qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. New drivers are required to do an initial qualification to get their Driver CPC along with passing their truck or bus licence, to enable them to use their licence professionally. For existing drivers, a periodic training programme of 35 hours of training every five years is required to keep their Driver CPC.
- The letter comes as hauliers celebrate National Lorry Week (25-31 October), highlighting the vital role of truck drivers, hauliers, and the wider logistics industry in keeping our supply chains moving.
- Key signatories:
- Key trade bodies
- Make UK
- NFU (Scotland)
- Recruitment and Employment Confederation
- British Frozen Food Federation
- British Beer and Pub Association
- Federation of Wholesale Distributors
- Other key signatories
- John Williams, Executive Chairman, Maritime Transport
- Steve Granite, CEO, Abbey Logistics Group
- David Pickering, CEO, Eddie Stobart
- Thomas Van Mourik, CEO, Culina Group
- Dan Myers, Managing Director, XPO Logistics
- Paul Bennell, Managing Director, Samworth Brothers Supply Chain
- Andrew Malcolm, CEO, The Malcolm Group
- Mark Johnson, National Customs & Trade Control Director, KUEHNE + NAGEL
- Andrew Howard, Managing Director, P C Howard
- Kate Lester, Founder and CEO, Diamond Logistics Group
- Lesley O’Brien OBE, Director, Freightlink Europe
- Richard Harrow, Chief Executive, British Frozen Food Federation
- James Bielby, CEO, Federation of Wholesale Distributors
- Shane Brennan, CEO, Cold Chain Federation
- Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive, British Beer and Pub Association
- Nick Allen, CEO, British Meat Producers Association
- Angus Blundell, Marketing Director, Certas Energy UK
- Mark Garner, Marketing Director, SNAP
- James Anthony French MBE, Managing Director, Road to Logistics