Commercial drivers are being ignored when it comes to their right to use proper hygiene and rest facilities while working, according to business group Logistics UK.
Speaking after the publication of the National Survey of Lorry Parking (2022) Part 2 by government, Jonathan Walker, Head of Cities and Infrastructure Policy at Logistics UK is stressing the group’s call for the delivery of urgent reform to the planning system, which would both facilitate the provision of more parking facilities on key routes and incentivise investment from the private sector.
The survey conducted for DfT highlighted that overnight parking demand for commercial vehicle spaces is consistently above what is deemed to be ‘critical capacity’, with the number of vehicles requiring safe and secure overnight parking exceeding capacity for 11 out of 12 months. As Mr Walker continues, the group has been pressing for the provision of new facilities for HGV drivers across the strategic roads network for a number of years:
“The publication of the latest lorry parking survey demonstrates just how desperate and urgent the need is for more secure facilities for these vehicles, an issue which our members have been pressing government to help fix for a long time. Drivers need safe, secure and clean facilities to take mandatory rests and to look after basic human needs – something which workers in other sectors take for granted. They also must be confident that those facilities will have the space to accommodate them when they arrive. Our industry is working hard to attract a younger, more diverse workforce but this issue undoubtedly harms the appeal of working in logistics.
“In 2022 an additional £20million in funding was announced to boost HGV driver facilities but as highlighted by this report, the benefits of this have not yet been fully felt. Lorry drivers are required by law to take regular rest periods, including overnight-mandated rest breaks and it is unacceptable to expect them to sleep in unprotected and often unsafe locations. Urgent reform to the planning system is vital for the provision of more parking facilities on key routes and private sector investment. The government and private sector must work collaboratively to take urgent action on this issue to protect the workforce which drives all areas of the UK’s economy – we stand ready to help them deliver what our industry has been demanding for so long.”