RHA to deliver emergency driver shortage petition to Downing Street
The RHA and a delegation of hauliers will deliver an emergency petition to 10 Downing Street this afternoon, calling on the government to take immediate action to tackle the driver shortage.
Faced with a national driver shortage of more than 45,000 drivers – and conscious that 35,000 more are estimated to be due to retire within the next two years – the RHA believes the situation is deteriorating fast.
Its chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The RHA represents UK hauliers who, between them, operate over 100,000 heavy goods vehicles. Our members, quite literally, move the UK economy.
“We are now facing an unprecedented and critical shortage of qualified truck drivers. Current retirement levels and low levels of new entrants to the industry are creating a perfect storm.
“Margins in the small- and medium-sized haulage companies that make up the bulk of our industry are very tight and this limits their capacity to fund the required training.
“To keep the economic recovery on track, the government needs to act, and act fast. We are urging the prime minister and chancellor to invest £150m in driver training in the July [emergency] budget.”
The move comes as a survey by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport revealed that 74% of its members worked in organisations experiencing a shortage of HGV drivers. The survey also found that 89% believe the government is not doing enough to deal with the problem.
Other findings from the survey are: 61% use agency workers throughout the year; 51% have failed to recruit drivers over the past 12 months; 22% do not finance Driver CPC for their drivers; 80% claimed it was business’s responsibility to find solutions to the issue.