Review to encourage drivers into industry
A review will seek to improve parking and facilities for HGV and bus drivers, in the latest of 30 measures to support the road haulage sector and encourage even more people to return to the profession.
In a further move to encourage more people back to the sector and attract new recruits, the government is working with key stakeholders to identify a number of lorry parks across the country where short-term facilities such as temporary toilets, showers and catering can be delivered in the coming months.
The government also emphasised the expectation that councils consider new proposals for these vital facilities constructively and has committed to review guidance that will assist this.
This follows the £32.5 million recently committed in the Chancellor’s budget to provide better facilities right across the country for HGV drivers, which will drive up standards of roadside parking and facilities for our hauliers and further safeguard driver wellbeing, comfort and safety.
£500,000 will also be added to the existing Mode Shift Revenue Support Fund for 2021 to 2022, in another boost to the country’s supply chains. This £20 million grant scheme provides funding to private-sector freight companies to encourage them to move more freight from the country’s roads to either the railways or inland waterways.
Among other measures already taken to support the haulage industry, the testing process has been streamlined, the number of weekly HGV tests available has increased by 90% and training for up to 5,000 new drivers through skills bootcamps has been announced.
The DVLA has processed over 40,000 HGV and vocational licence applications in just 4 weeks, with applications that don’t require complex medicals being turned around in just 5 working days. DVSA is providing 1,350 more tests than normal a week at sites all over the country.