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Shortage of truck drivers: “Extended hours for” exhausted carriers will not solve the delivery crisis, “warns industry body

A move to ease the heavy truck driver shortage crisis by extending the hours they can legally work is facing a backlash from the transport industry.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere announced this summer the relaxation of the safety rule, via her Twitter account, following repeated warnings from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) this summer of a serious threat to the distribution of merchandise.

The sector body has even supported calls for the army to mobilize to help combat the consequences of 100,000 vacant driver positions – blamed on several factors, many of whom do not return from abroad due to the COVID-19[female[feminine crisis, Brexit and pandemic disruption of the qualification process.

The Minister wrote: “We are temporarily extending the rules on driver schedules from Monday July 12 to allow truck drivers to make slightly longer trips if necessary, as we are aware of the current shortage of drivers.

“The safety of drivers must not be compromised and operators must inform the DfT (Department for Transport) if this relaxation is used.”

But RHA chief executive Richard Burnett, who has spoken to various ministers in recent weeks to seek government assistance, replied: “We oppose massive extensions to driving hours because we believe they can be. counterproductive by making work less attractive.

“Charging more hours on already exhausted drivers is not the solution – the problem requires more than just sticking plaster.

“Ministers should keep in mind that road safety is the reason heavy truck drivers’ hours are limited. Relaxing them should only be used as a last resort to …

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This notice was published: 2021-07-07 13:14:00

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