In this season of goodwill to all, truckers have been helped and also helped others.
Classed as key workers the year around – not just during a pandemic – truckers like to be moving whenever possible. But factors such as the French border being temporarily closed and the recent bad weather meant plans changed.
While a lot of the focus was on drivers in and around Dover, elsewhere there were holdups as a knock-on effect. One example was in Immingham, near Grimsby, where 50 truck drivers were stranded at their pick-up points.
Fortunately Willie Weir, who owns The County hotel in Immingam could not see the drivers suffer over the festive period. As such, he provided Christmas dinner to those stranded, as well as a meal on Boxing Day and toiletries.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support from people,” said Weir. ”I was just pleased that Immingham was able to support the drivers, unlike Dover.”
Down in Stoke-on-Trent, Gavin Wilshaw helped rescue drivers – including truck drivers – who were stuck after bad weather. After the A34 was affected by heavy snowfall, Wilshaw used his Land Rover to tow people to safety.
Along with his friends, Wilshaw spent more than 12 hours at the site. “I saw the snow and thought about how many people wouldn’t be able to get anywhere,” he said. “I’ve got an off-roader so I thought I’d make use of it to help people that needed it.”
Wilshaw’s rescue mission included getting an Asda truck back on the road as well as other key workers’ vehicles.
But it hasn’t all been about drivers receiving help. Lancashire haulier Fagan & Whalley handed over a cheque for £1,000 to Pendleside Hospice during the Christmas period.
“After what has been a difficult year for everyone we decided to make a donation to charity,” said Sam Fagan, the operator’s general manager. “Pendleside Hospice has helped our staff and their families so it seemed appropriate to help boost their funds.”