Lorry drivers need better facilities
08 August 2016
From the smallest of vans to the heaviest lorries, the freight industry is vital to our economy. Imagine popping down to the shops and finding empty shelves where our food should be. Imagine ordering an item online and it fails to arrive. Imagine if those crucial supplies to our schools, hospitals and businesses weren’t there.
We know that lorry drivers up and down the country play a vital role in meeting our most basic needs. Take a trip on a motorway or a major ‘A’ road and you can’t fail to notice the amount of freight moving around the country. There are a huge numbers of drivers whose office is the cab of their truck for the majority of the day. There are legal limits to when and how long lorry drivers and others who drive different large vehicles need to rest, so providing suitable facilities is a key thing to consider.
Interesting then that lorry drivers told us in our latest research – Take a break: road users’ views about roadside facilities – that their needs are not being met. Lack of appropriate facilities in places where drivers need them, lack of suitable parking spaces and basic facilities are a cause for concern to us and to those in the freight industry.
Where facilities exist, our research has highlighted some concerns around the provision of basic needs for lorry drivers. Clean shower and toilet facilities should be a standard expectation, but we have been told this can be an issue. A recent Transport Select Committee report highlighted poor roadside facilities as one of the contributing factors of the current large goods vehicle driver shortage. Access better rest facilities is a must if the industry is to attract new people and continue to provide its vital services.
We’ve made a number of recommendations around roadside facilities in our report and we intend to work closely with Highways England, the service area operators and the freight industry to help them deliver improvements for road users.