Road User Voice – May 2015 – Needs and experiences of heavy goods vehicle drivers

01 May 2015

Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers feel misunderstood.

This is one of the findings from our recently published Road user needs and experiences research.

HGV drivers regard their driving as safer than drivers of many other types of vehicles on the road. They consider that they are highly trained and proficient on the SRN as a result of the ongoing mandatory training requirement to maintain their licence.

They believe that other drivers are often unaware of the issues they have to face, including being restricted to the two inside lanes and being tied to lower speed limits than other vehicles. They also feel that other drivers take unnecessary risks by pulling out in front of fully-laden vehicles. HGV drivers would like to see better education for other drivers.

A serious issue for many HGV drivers is the lack of adequate rest provision whilst on the SRN. Our research revealed that HGV drivers do not think that all the motorway service operators cater well for the needs of HGVs. They were disappointed at the availability of parking facilities for HGVs – a particular problem for them as they have to comply with working time regulation that means they have no alternative but to take rest stops.

The lack of space forces them to look for other places to stop. Dedicated truck stops are ideal, but these facilities are scarce. Many drivers therefore use lay-bys. However, these are often unsuitable because the facilities are very limited. There is often no security which is a concern when they are transporting valuable freight, and getting back on the road they were travelling on can be difficult.

These are all important issues for HGV drivers – for them the SRN is their place of work. Transport Focus intends to look further at this issue in the coming months.

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