Driver shortage threatens UK economic recovery says RHA

On Wednesday 17 June, the Road Haulage Association delivered an urgent plea to the Prime Minister demanding government intervention to help with the chronic truck driver shortage, which is having a profound effect on the UK’s supply chain and which threatens to slow the UK economic recovery.

There is a national truck driver shortage, estimated to be in the region of 45,000 thousand. And with over 35,000 thousand existing drivers due to retire in the next two years, the situation is deteriorating fast.  There are numerous reports of the driver shortage leading to operators turning work away, having to park up trucks and cancelling orders for new trucks.

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The RHA represents UK hauliers who, between them, operate over 100,000 heavy goods vehicles. Our members, quite literally, move the UK economy. We are now facing an unprecedented and critical shortage of qualified truck drivers – currently estimated to be in the order of 45,000 across the country. Current retirement levels and low levels of new entrants to the industry are creating a perfect storm.

“The cost of training to be a truck driver is very high – typically some £3,000.  This is a serious barrier for individuals wishing to train up. Margins in the small and medium sized haulage companies that make up the bulk of our industry are very tight and this limits their capacity to fund the required training.

“To keep the economic recovery on track, the government needs to act, and act fast. We are urging the Prime Minister and Chancellor to invest £150m in driver training in the July budget.

“UK hauliers move the economy. This driver shortage threatens to slow the economic recovery.”

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