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Spalding produce wholesaler says Government measures will not help lorry driver shortage

New Government measures to ease the shortage of lorry drivers will not make a difference, says a haulier.

South Holland is facing a shortfall of at least 100 drivers thanks to Brexit, test cancellations due to the pandemic and a change in tax rules.

But the Government’s move to write to lapsed HGV lorry drivers along with providing three month visas for tanker drivers from overseas does not go far enough.

Chris Eley of Spalding
Chris Eley of Spalding

Rob Banks, of Chris Eley in Spalding, feels relaxing Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements, which insists on 35 hours of training, would have a big impact.

He said: “I don’t think the current measures are going to make any difference. Drivers are not going to come back for three months and then go back again.

“The biggest thing for me is the CPC. If they were to get rid of the driver CPC completely or change it one day’s training a year or every five years to keep up-to-date with the driver regulations, that would be a start.

“Stop charging for digicards and medicals would be another idea. It is probably the most expensive career to have as they charge you for everything.

“I value every single one of my guys. They are good at their jobs and and we are doing everything we can.”

The Road Haulage Association is calling on the Government to make driving more accessible and cheaper.

It says the county is short of around 100,000 drivers and says that around 40,000 tests were cancelled last year.

Phoenix Drivers managing director Graham Brown has been calling on the Government to add lorry drivers onto the skilled workers list since July.

He has also launched a petition to change the CPC which is an added cost to the driver and feels that this will encourage more people back.

To support the petition go to: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/593067

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