Covid and Brexit will continue to affect the haulage industry in 2022, but there are other questions in the UK haulage industry that will unravel as the year goes on.
Newly trained HGV drivers – will they be in it for the long haul?
You may be aware that the UK’s driver shortage has reportedly fallen from 100,000 to 85,000. This is because of government intervention. Now, drivers are trained and tested quickly to make sure the shortfalls are controlled. Higher Wages and free training are having a great effect on the haulage industry in 2022.
However, many existing issues HGV drivers blame for the shortage are still prevalent. Facilities remain in short supply and are evidently poor, while long RDC wait times continue to frustrate both hauliers and drivers. Long hours and a lack of respect from the public are also a part of the equation.
Given all of these problems are some way from being solved, it is questionable how long new HGV drivers will stay in the industry. If some of the newly-trained truckers decide to abandon their career change early, the driver shortage could become headline news again.
HGV parking facilities and rest areas – will we see any evidence of development?
Public awareness of the HGV driver shortage, fuelled by extensive media reporting, has led to an acknowledgement from the government that HGV driver facilities badly need ramping up.
It was then announced that £50 million of UK Treasury funds would be used to improve and expand the country’s HGV parking areas and rest stops. This looks good on paper, but truckers and hauliers will be keen to see some concrete evidence of the money actually making a difference at ground level.
Have you had problems getting planning permission from your local council?
Did you know objections from local councils have made securing planning permission for HGV facilities difficult? These objections are normally a result of extensive complaints from residents who want same-day-deliveries without added truck traffic in their area. Therefore, money is not necessarily applicable here.
Should results from the £50 million cash injection prove to be thin on the ground, somelorry driverscould be forgiven for losing hope that a significant change in this area will ever happen. Even so, a few approved projects would at least give the impression that progress is being made and that improvements are on the way.
Clear air and low emission zones – will we see more?
In 2021, both Bath and Birmingham introduced clear air zones which charge HGVs that don’t meet the low-emission requirements.
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