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A Salford HGV driver spoke of the issues facing the UK haulage industry after the nationwide driver and petrol shortages.
Speaking to Salford Now, a driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, revealed the shortcomings of the industry:
“We’ve got a lot of drivers leaving the industry due to old age. I know guys in their 70’s wanting to leave, so getting fresh blood into the industry, fired up and all, is really important.
“As a previous haulage driver, what I noticed is that I tend to drive a lot of places on empty. So I would drive to say Southampton with a load, I would then return with a lorry totally empty when there is obviously lots that needs carrying.”
The unnamed driver suggested that better facilities for drivers is needed. He said: “Drivers don’t want to come into the industry thinking they’ll be treated badly in say a service station or depot.”
Speaking about the shortage of drivers across the UK and the government plans to employ new overseas drivers on emergency visas, the driver followed: “I don’t think the problem is easily fixed as you’ll always have more people leaving due to old age than are coming in to it.
“It’s like every problem, you can’t just fix it once, you have to keep fixing it.
“You have to encourage new drivers to get into the industry, show them what a good industry it can be.”
What is the shortage about?
This follows as it has been revealed that just 127 foreign drivers have applied to work in Britain. This is under the Governments emergency scheme to tackle the petrol crisis.
This figure makes up less than half of the initial 300 visas that were made available for overseas lorry drivers.
The PM Boris Johnson stated that this is a ‘fascinating illustration of the problem of the shortage’: “What we said to the road haulage industry was give us the names of the people you want to bring in and we’ll sort out the visa’s. They only produced 127 names, so far.
“What this shows is a global shortage.”
It is in an effort to plug a nationwide shortage of drivers and petrol in preparation for the winter months.
Mr Johnson, speaking on LBC, said: “I sympathise very much with the frustrations of people who’ve been queuing for petrol. I really do.
“I understand how infuriating it is when you can’t get petrol at the pumps, I really understand that. But I must repeat, this has overwhelmingly been a problem of demand and not supply.”
This all comes after the Government last month unveiling plans to recruit 5,000 foreign HGV drivers. Trade bodies have suggested however the shortfall of drivers is closer to 90,000.