How the 'pingdemic' is amplifying the HGV driver shortage
With the UK short of around 100,000 HGV drivers, and warnings of shortages of food and other products on shelves in the coming weeks and months, the ‘pingdemic’ is adding further strain to the supply chain.
Businesses across the UK are experiencing issues with staff being told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app, and the logistics sector is no exception.
RHA md for policy and public affairs, Rod McKenzie told the Financial Times that: “Far from freedom day, it’s going to be disaster day. Government needs to wake up to this. I cannot underplay how serious this situation is.”
Rod also told BBC Five Live that the Government must change the rules to allow commercial vehicle drivers pinged by the Test and Trace app to continue to work, if they have received two Covid-19 jabs and are able to produce negative Covid tests.
Commercial vehicle drivers spend the greatest proportion of their day alone in their cabs, and only 0.02 per cent test positive for Covid, according to DfT.
Our policy director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Martin Reid has urged Nicola Sturgeon to replace self-isolation measures with lateral flow testing as a ‘low-risk option’ to keep trucks on the road in Scotland. Read the letter here.
Similarly, we have also written a letter to Roads Minister Baroness Vere that healthy truckers self-isolating creates a huge strain on an already stretched workforce as the driver shortage crisis tops 100,000.