The Road Haulage Association is to press for government talks aimed at boosting funding for training heavy goods vehicle drivers.
Road Haulage Association CEO Richard Burnett has urged chancellor George Osborne to meet RHA representatives to discuss the growing threat to UK economic growth as driver shortages continue, leading to an increased reliance on overseas drivers.
“Government is failing this industry and the economy and urgent action is needed from the Treasury,” said Burnett. “An opportunity to lead transformative change was missed in the Autumn Statement, which ignored the our strongly-supported case for funding for companies. But the analysis that the RHA set out remains valid and the problem of a worsening driver shortage is not going to go away.”
According to RHA figures, the current driver shortage stands at 45,000, a figure he says will increase to 60,000 within 12 months if the issue is not addressed.
“We support the chancellor’s objectives set out in his Autumn Statement – but the economy needs to have enough lorry drivers if he is going to deliver,” Burnett added. “If the UK doesn’t have enough people able to drive the lorries that keep the economy moving, the economy will grind to a halt”.