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HGV driver shortage was inevitable

Posted on Sep 07, 2021

As a former editor of Trucking magazine, I can only say that the shortage of truck drivers has been a long time coming (HGV driver shortages could ‘cancel’ Christmas, warns Iceland boss, 25 August). Road transport shares with the social care industry an enduring culture of increasing profit by reducing costs, with frontline workers paying the price. Both transport and care are now dominated by agencies, which seem to do little for the pounds of flesh that they extract from staff and clients. Unsurprisingly, people prefer to earn a living in other ways.

There are about 600,000 people holding LGV cat C (rigid truck) or cat C+E (articulated lorry) licences in the UK who do not currently drive trucks for a living. Why would they want to return to the job? Facilities are poor, the hours brutal and the responsibilities onerous. And these are only going to get worse. The latest changes to the highway code appear to make truck drivers entirely responsible for the stupidity of childish “vulnerable road users” who are now being encouraged to treat the road as a playground while “adult” drivers look after them. A rethink is needed.
Richard Simpson
Launceston, Cornwall

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