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RHA demands government intervention on Northern Ireland truck driver shortage

The Road Haulage Association has demanded government intervention to help with the chronic truck driver shortage, which now umbers more than 1,200 in Northern Ireland.

uk traffic 2The RHA says the shortage is having a profound effect on the UK and Northern Ireland’s supply chain and which threatens to slow the economic recovery.

There is a national truck driver shortage, estimated to be in the region of 45,000. And with over 35,000 existing drivers due to retire in the next two years, the situation is deteriorating fast.

There are numerous reports of the driver shortage leading to operators turning work away, having to park up trucks and cancelling orders for new trucks.

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The RHA represents UK hauliers which, between them, operate over 100,000 heavy goods vehicles. Our members, quite literally, move the UK economy. We are now facing an unprecedented and critical shortage of qualified truck drivers – currently estimated to be in the order of 45,000 across the country. Current retirement levels and low levels of new entrants to the industry are creating a perfect storm.

“The cost of training to be a truck driver is very high – typically some £3,000. This is a serious barrier to individuals wishing to train up. Margins in the small and medium sized haulage companies that make up the bulk of our industry are very tight and this limits their capacity to fund the required training.

“To keep the economic recovery on track, the government needs to act, and act fast. We are urging the Prime Minister and Chancellor to invest £150m in driver training in the July budget. UK hauliers move the economy. This driver shortage threatens to slow the economic recovery.”

Article taken from www.hgvireland.com