Driver shortage prompts ‘empty shelves at Christmas’ warning from hauliers

THGV driver, truck driver.

The RHA is planning to lobby MPs during its “National Lorry Week”, to address the driver shortage which is facing the industry.

The event runs from October 26 until October 31, as the association warns of a possibility of empty shelves this Christmas due to what it called a “chronic” lack of truck drivers, running a series of public events across the UK to draw attention the problem.

As part of National Lorry Week, some fleets will be holding depot open days to members of the public and taking vehicles to town centres.

The RHA hopes the events will help present the industry in a positive way to the public, encouraging more people to consider driving an HGV as a career.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, said: “We are short of between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers and the situation is getting worse. 

“Thousands of older drivers are leaving the industry and younger people can’t afford the £3,000 it costs to get a truck licence: the government could help but won’t. 

“They should support a truck driving apprenticeship but are refusing to do so; even though they are forcing the larger trucking firms to pay the new apprenticeship levy. 

As far as the RHA is concerned, that amounts to little more than just a tax on payroll.”

He continued: “One of the aims of National Lorry Week is to highlight the issue and pile pressure on the government. 

“What young person can find £3,000 without some help? 

“This shortage is grave and presents a real threat to Christmas and to economic growth.”

Burnett added: “Our industry is the life blood of our economy. 

“The government can and must do more to help with this driver shortage crisis - its failure to do so is now posing a real threat to the UKs economic recovery.”

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  • David - 29/10/2015 15:44

    This chronic shortage of Lorry Drivers was caused by the onset of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) which was un necessary and un wanted by the haulage industry, but introduced non the less. Driving a lorry has always been a profession, but now drivers have to prove it by going into a classroom and studying how to operate a tachograph for five class's in order to become "Competent" . Totally Pathetic!

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  • Mike Gillson - 29/10/2015 15:52

    Perhaps not having enough capacity to deliver to the HoP bar and dining rooms may prompt a more proactive response !

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  • Scott - 04/11/2015 19:13

    I blame a driver shortage on the low money for a hazardous job, look at places like Canada and Australia they pay the wage of a hazardous job, as a young truck driver I can see why the younger generation are avoiding this type of career. You earn a wage that sees you by and nothing more financially it is not worth the hours and the hard work you can come across as a driver. People think all that's involved is driving which isn't the case

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