Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

What’s life on the road as a truck driver really like?

30 April 2018

How do our facilities for HGV drivers compare to those in the US? This letter from a truck driver from Tennessee paints an attractive picture, saying ‘it is common to find good shower facilities, attractive decor – framed prints and flowers – gyms, even dog-grooming facilities.’

That might not sound familiar to many of our lorry drivers in England!

Somewhere to rest, use the toilet and grab food and drink is important for anyone on a long drive. For professional drivers it’s a major part of their work life. They told us that there isn’t always enough space to park and that facilities – especially on 'A' roads – don’t always match up to their needs.

In our first Motorway Services User Survey last year, HGV drivers were less satisfied than other people (84 per cent compared to 90 per cent). And they were particularly unhappy with the value for money of parking. We are publishing another survey this year so we will see if this has changed.

Last week the union Unite called for an increase in decent truck stop facilities. In its most recent study almost a third of lorry drivers admitted falling asleep at the wheel, mainly because of long working days or disturbed sleep.

We have also been doing some work to look at places to stop on 'A' roads – are there enough of them, do they have suitable parking, do they offer what people are looking for? We will publish this research in the summer, so look out for the results.

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