The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has issued a bleak warning that consumers could see empty shelves this Christmas as the chronic lack of truck drivers affecting the industry worsens.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said, “We are short of between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers and the situation is getting worse. Thousands of older drivers are leaving the industry and younger people can’t afford the £3,000 it costs to get a truck licence. The government could help but won’t. They should support a truck driving apprenticeship but are refusing to do so; even though they are forcing the larger trucking firms to pay the new apprenticeship levy.
“As far as the RHA is concerned, that amounts to little more than just a tax on payroll. That’s why we are holding National Love a Lorry Week to highlight the issue and pile pressure on the government. What young person can find £3,000 without some help? This shortage is grave and presents a real threat to Christmas and to economic growth.”
To highlight the driver crisis, the RHA will undertake intensive lobbying of MPs as part of its inaugural ‘National Love a Lorry Week’ which runs from 26th-31st October. The industry will also be holding many events across the UK to draw attention to the problem.
Burnett added: “Our industry is the life blood of our economy. The government can and must do more to help with this driver shortage crisis. Its failure to do so is now posing a real threat to the UKs economic recovery.”
Santa’s Elves: Last Christmas, trucks delivered –
- 8 million real Christmas trees
- 10 million turkeys
- 25 million Christmas puddings
- 35 million bottles of wine
- 250 million pints of beer
For more about ‘Love the Lorry’ Week, go to https://www.rha.uk.net/events/rha-national-lorry-week#3