A lack of lorry parking facilities nationwide is a key contributor to the HGV driver shortage, Logistics UK told MPs on the transport committee.
Appearing before the committee’s inquiry into the road freight supply chain, launched earlier this month, Elizabeth de Jong, director of Policy at business group Logistics UK, said that the road freight supply chain is facing many challenges and opportunities, including the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers, a patchwork of local urban regulations, and the need to decarbonise operations efficiently.
She explained: “The lack of available lorry parking facilities nationwide is a key contributor to the HGV driver shortage.
“Many commercial drivers are forced to take their rest periods in their vehicles at the side of the road or on industrial estates, with no access to hygiene facilities. This is preventing individuals – particularly women, who only make up 2% of HGV drivers – from remaining in or wanting to join the workforce.”
Logistics UK is urging the Government to take immediate action to help enable improved facilities for drivers; without this, it says that businesses will continue to struggle to recruit the workforce they need.
The Government says it is working with key stakeholders to identify a number of lorry parks across the country where short-term facilities such as temporary toilets, showers and catering can be delivered in the coming months.
It has also emphasised the expectation that councils consider new proposals for these vital facilities constructively and has committed to review guidance that will assist this.
It follows the £32.5 million recently committed in the Chancellor’s budget to provide better facilities right across the country for HGV drivers, in an effort to improve standards of roadside parking and facilities for hauliers and further safeguard driver wellbeing, comfort and safety.
De Jong continued: “Logistics UK is also pressing Government to address the EU’s proposed Entry Exit System (EES), which would see the introduction of new customs checks at the borders of Dover and Folkestone.
“These new rules could cause delays to supply chain operations at borders, while compromising the safety of drivers, as they would be required to exit their vehicles to undertake the checks.”