The Government needs to invest in driver facilities if the commercial fleet industry is to attract new HGV drivers, says Logistics UK.
In its response to the forthcoming comprehensive spending review, the trade body urged the Government to recognise the vital role the logistics industry plays in supporting the UK as it recovers and rebuilds from the Covid-19 pandemic and transitions to a net zero emission economy.
Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, said: “The 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review must include significant investment into the nation’s transport infrastructure.
“With the UK seeking new international trading agreements post-Brexit, the need for world-class infrastructure has never been greater to help the UK take its new place in the global economy.
“This includes the need to invest in roads nationwide to reduce congestion, as well as improving driver facilities to attract HGV drivers into the occupation and increased rail capacity to encouraging greater rail freight use.”
Logistics UK is also calling for investment in IT systems at the border for smooth trade, and investment in connected and automated vehicles to increase UK competitiveness.
“With the logistics industry committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, Logistics UK is also urging the government to prioritise funding to accelerate the development of alternative fuels, across all transport modes, and to commit to delivering the energy supplies needed,” de Jong added.
The Government announced a raft of measures on Monday, September 27, in an effort to plug the shortfall in HGV drivers, estimated by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) to be around 100,000.
It followed changes to the HGV driving test, which aim to make it easier for the industry to recruit new drivers.
In an effort to alleviate the impact on petrol stations, it has also deployed the army to make fuel deliveries.