The Road Haulage Association has warned of a Christmas crisis unless more is done to deal with the ongoing driver shortage. 

Specifically, the RHA and other trade bodies have written to the Prime Minister urging action.

In addition, the letter has also been signed by major UK hauliers.

It is acknowledged that the Government have taken some steps to tackle the crisis.

However, the solutions proposed won’t address the driver shortage in the short term, says RHA.

A Christmas crisis can be avoided if three major actions are taken, according to the letter. 

Firstly, add HGV drivers to the Shortage Occupation List for at least twelve months.

Secondly, extend and reform the Driver CPC, encouraging experienced and retired drivers to return.

Finally, convene an HGV driver taskforce that would see the haulage industry and Government work together.

Meanwhile, the letter warns of a risk of further damage to the UK’s supply chains without action.

The RHA and its members have long campaigned for improved conditions for lorry drivers. 

For example it has asked for an increase in lorry parking spaces and truck stops. 

In addition, improved apprenticeships and skills funding has also been called for.

Rod McKenzie, RHA’s managing director explained the importance of the letter.

“There has never been a more challenging time for the haulage industry. 

“The Prime Minister must act now or risk even more drastic disruption than we have already seen in recent months.

“Our members are committed to working with Government on long-term solutions,” he added. 

“However, the Government is simply not addressing the short-term severity of this crisis.” 

Concluding, McKenzie said: “Lacklustre and ill-conceived proposals such as a three-month visa will not work.”

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