Calls for increase in truck rest stops in North Wales to address lorry driver shortage
Calls have been made for an increase in the number of truck rest stops in North Wales to address a national shortage of lorry drivers.
It follows representatives from the haulage industry warning the UK could face food shortages this summer because of the loss of around 100,000 drivers.
The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have been blamed as the main reasons for the shortage.
The issue was raised in the Senedd yesterday by North Wales regional MS Carolyn Thomas.
The Flintshire based MS said: “I’ve been contacted by a North Wales haulage company regarding this issue, and it highlighted two key factors.
“The first is Brexit and the fact the UK Government desperately needs to rethink its position on skilled worker visas.
“But the second, which I would like to ask about, is how we can encourage more people to go into this line of employment, by recognising it as the high-skilled and essential line of work that it is.
“We have a real issue in terms of secure places for drivers to stop and rest.
“How can we improve conditions for drivers, such as free or affordable HGV parking, and access to basic services, such as showers, toilet facilities and reasonably priced food, to ensure drivers are safe on our roads?”
Responding to her question, Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, said: “It is a highly skilled job and it’s really important that we do all we can to encourage people to choose this career.
“I think the point you make around ensuring there are adequate parking, overnight parking, places to have showers, is very important.
“I know there’s a call for that to happen on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, because unfortunately we do see people just pulling over and not having facilities to rest properly, to eat properly, and certainly to shower.
“We will continue to promote ReAct (programme funding vocational training) to employers and individuals who are unemployed or have been made redundant.
“We will also encourage recruitment via Careers Wales, because it is an essential line of work.
“We’ll continue to work with our trade unions regarding the terms and conditions of the workforce, and, where appropriate, provide additional support for the issues that you’ve raised.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com