Time to rethink the role of the driver, says CILT chief

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It’s time for a fundamental rethink of the role of the driver in view of the fact that some transport businesses have vehicles standing idle owing to a lack of drivers in the run-up to Christmas, according to Steve Agg, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

“Complaints about driver shortages are not new,” said Agg, but he warned that this time however the solution may not be readily to hand.

“Perhaps it is time for us all in the logistics and transport world to have a fundamental rethink about the role of the driver and maybe start from the premise that they are the most important people in our profession.

“If we commit to training them, providing good base and road side facilities and improving working hours and conditions then perhaps next year delivering Christmas or anything else in fact will not be in doubt.”

Agg pointed out that what is different this time is that from September 2014 lorry drivers need to have their compulsory CPD up-to-date (2013 for bus drivers). Along with this the well-known age profile of lorry drivers may well be catching up as older drivers decide to opt-out. Couple this with the changing profile of consumer demand; a rapid increase in online sales as well as swift delivery requirements there is an awful lot of driving to be done.”

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