RHA broadly welcomes the report and the committee’s focus on the significant issues affecting the industry. Its recommendations are in line with many of the requests we’ve made.

1st June 2022 7:06 AM

While supporting many of the Government’s 33 measures to deal with the HGV driver shortage, as the report highlights, many of these are limited, temporary measures and the systemic issues affecting the industry require long-term planning.

The report rightly identifies that the voice of the SMEs needs to be heard more clearly in government to find the right solutions to our long-term problems; most hauliers are SMEs.

With firms facing huge financial pressures it’s unreasonable for the logistics sector to fund driver training alone, given the significant upfront cost, the acute shortage of drivers and the difficulties in retaining new drivers due to external factors.

We’re pleased the report recommends making HGV skills bootcamps a permanent feature and making greater use of Apprenticeship Levy funds. This is something we’ve repeatedly called for.

We appreciate the principles behind the Supply Chain Levy, but we need assurance that this would not result in undue cost pressures or limit the growth of SME hauliers.

We’re concerned that the industry cannot make the necessary changes to avoid the levy in just two years when so many of those changes are outside of the industry’s control.

We oppose any measure which risks significant additional cost on SMEs.

RHA MD Richard Smith said: “We welcome the recognition of the difficulties of life as an HGV driver. In many places HGVs and their drivers are simply not welcome.

“This needs to change. We welcome measures that will improve HGV drivers’ experiences on the nation’s roads and the way they’re treated.”