Press Release: HGV Driver Shortage
Kirsten calls out Department for Transport failure over HGV Driver numbers
Kirsten Oswald, Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire, joined the Road Haulage Association (RHA) at a National Lorry Week event to recognise the importance of the logistics sector and to learn more about the issues facing the sector in the wake of both Brexit and the pandemic.
Kirsten joined cross-party MPs in backing RHA demands for action to improve conditions in the industry, including better facilities and additional parking for HGV drivers, and to act quickly to resolve the HGV driver shortage.
From the beginning of the pandemic, Kirsten has challenged the Department for Transport over its lack of response to the growing backlog of applicants for driving tests, including for HGVs and buses.
When Kirsten asked if the department would provide financial support to people interested in returning to or taking up driving a lorry, bus, or coach professionally, she was told responsibility lies with the individual and their employers and that any help would be determined by commercial factors.
“I am pleased to show my support for HGV drivers and road haulage firms during National Lorry Week. The recent crisis has demonstrated just how we rely upon them to keep the country running.”
“I have been appalled by the absolute failure of the UK Government over the crisis in driver numbers. Driving tests simply ground to a halt during the pandemic and their hard Brexit saw many EU citizens lost to the industry and EU-based drivers reluctant to face the chaos at the border.”
“As the crisis continues to develop, for the department to shirk their responsibility for helping solve the driver shortage and describe it as a commercial matter for the industry shows just how out of touch they are.”
“The UK Government needs to get a grip on this crisis and meet the road haulage industry, training providers, and trade unions to step up action to tackle the immediate shortage of drivers, but also to make the industry more attractive to a wider range of potential drivers.”