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dvernb

UK plan to fix truck driver shortage will not solve crunch

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Britain’s decision to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers is a short-term fix that will not solve an acute labour shortage that risks major disruption for retailers in the run-up to Christmas, business leaders have warned.

Long lines of vehicles formed at petrol stations for a second day on Saturday as motorists waited in line, some for hours, to fill up with fuel after oil firms reported a lack of drivers was causing transport problems from refineries to forecourts, leading some operators to ration supplies and others to close gas stations.

The fuel supply issues come on the back of warnings from the retail industry that unless the driver shortage was sorted out there would be major problems ahead of the busy festive shopping period.

“After a very difficult 18 months, I know how important this Christmas is for all of us and that’s why we’re taking these steps at the earliest opportunity to ensure preparations remain on track,” transport minister Grant Shapps said in a statement.

The UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) says Britain is facing a shortage of some 100,000 drivers, a result of workers leaving the industry, Brexit and the pandemic, which put a stop to driver training and testing for about a year.

 

Under the government’s plans, 5,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers would be able to come to Britain under temporary visas, while another 5,500 visas would be issued to poultry workers “to avoid any potential further pressures on the food industry”.

These short-term visas, which the government had previously rejected introducing despite calls from retail and logistics companies, will expire on Dec. 24.

Additionally, up to 4,000 people will be trained as new truck drivers, letters will be sent out to nearly a million drivers with HGV licences to entice them back to the industry, and ministry of defence examiners will be drafted in to speed up the testing process.

The government said the visas were not a long-term solution and the long-term solution was to hire more British drivers with better pay and conditions.

“We are acting now but the industries must also play their part with working conditions continuing to improve and the deserved salary increases continuing to be maintained in order for companies to retain new drivers,” Shapps said.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, who warned on Friday the government had just 10 days to solve the driver shortage issue, said the plans were insufficient.

“The limit of 5,000 visas will do little to alleviate the current shortfall,” he said. “Supermarkets alone have estimated they need at least 15,000 HGV drivers for their businesses to be able to operate at full capacity ahead of Christmas and avoid disruption or availability issues.”

Others have cautioned European drivers may not want to work in Britain again anyway.

“I expect many drivers will not return to the UK even if the UK government allows them to,” said Marco Digioia, general secretary of the European Road Haulers Association, told the i newspaper.

https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-truckers/uk-warned-visa-plan-to-fix-truck-driver-shortage-will-not-solve-crunch-idUSKBN2GL0MR

 

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i'm not surprised EU truckers are not prepared to help the UK after the way they have been treated by the UK government London/UKGOV's arrogance knows no bounds

 

they are now bringing in army truck drivers to bail them out all they can rely on is around 1200 drivers 

 

the article has not been updated yet as Sky news did a review of the papers for the 28th and they all had the same headline that the Army has been called in 

https://news.sky.com/story/government-expected-to-mobilise-army-as-a-precaution-amid-fuel-crisis-12420012


 

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More on the situation there:

Britain put the army on standby to deliver fuel from Tuesday after an acute shortage of truckers triggered panic buying that left fuel pumps dry across the land and raised fears that hospitals would be left without doctors and nurses.

Queues of drivers snaked back from those petrol stations that were still serving in major cities, though dozens of forecourts were closed with signs saying that their petrol and diesel had run dry, Reuters reporters said.

A post-Brexit shortage of lorry drivers, exacerbated by a debilitating halt to truck-driving-licence testing during COVID lockdowns, has sown chaos through British supply chains, raising the spectre of shortages and price rises in the run up to Christmas.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said a limited number of military tanker drivers had been put on a state of readiness to be deployed to deliver fuel if necessary.

“While the fuel industry expects demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, it’s right that we take this sensible, precautionary step,” Kwarteng said in a statement late on Monday.

“If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel.”

Fights broke out at some petrol stations as drivers jostled for fuel.

An air of chaos has gripped the world’s fifth largest economy in recent weeks as the shortage of truckers strained supply chains and a spike in European wholesale natural gas prices tipped energy companies into bankruptcy.

Retailers, truckers and logistics companies have warned that prices for everything from energy to Christmas gifts will have to rise.

NO QUICK FIX

Government ministers, fuel companies and petrol stations say there are sufficient supplies of fuel but that the lack of truckers combined with panic buying has drained the system.

Such is the gravity of the situation that the British Medical Association has called for health workers to get priority access to fuel to ensure the health service can operate.

The demand for fuel has meant that 50% to 90% of pumps were dry in some areas of Britain, according the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent fuel retailers who account for 65% of all the 8,380 UK forecourts.

“As many cars are now holding more fuel than usual, we expect that demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, easing pressures on fuel station forecourts. We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as they usually would,” fuel firms said in a joint statement.

However, hauliers, petrol stations and retailers say there are no quick fixes as the shortfall of truck drivers - estimated at about 100,000 - was so acute, and because transporting fuel demands additional training and licensing.

The government said it was also extending specific HGV (heavy good vehicle) licences, which allow drivers to transport fuel, for those whose permits were due to expire in the next three months to allow them to keep working without having to take refresher courses.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-truckers/britain-puts-military-on-standby-as-panic-buying-leaves-pumps-dry-idUSKBN2GN24H

 

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7 hours ago, Makara said:

i'm not surprised EU truckers are not prepared to help the UK after the way they have been treated by the UK government London/UKGOV's arrogance knows no bounds

 

This is the type of comment that needs reference links.

How HAVE they been treated by the UK government?  What are you talking about?

London/UKGOV's arrogance knows no bounds?  Again, what are you talking about?

Please back up what you say.

 

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13 hours ago, dvernb said:

This is the type of comment that needs reference links.

How HAVE they been treated by the UK government?  What are you talking about?

London/UKGOV's arrogance knows no bounds?  Again, what are you talking about?

Please back up what you say.

 

seriously ?? you just posted a link to what i posted 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fuel-shortages-uk-eu-drivers-b1927543.html

told them to get out of the UK that they weren't needed ...... then when the sh!t hits the fan asks them to bail out the UK to work in sh*t conditions for 3 months then be told to leave again ... you obviously don't know what is happening here ,  ... i would consider it an act of arrogance by London

 

 

Edited by Makara

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12 hours ago, Makara said:

seriously ?? you just posted a link to what i posted 

 


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fuel-shortages-uk-eu-drivers-b1927543.html

 

told them to get out of the UK that they weren't needed ...... then when the sh!t hits the fan asks them to bail out the UK to work in sh*t conditions for 3 months then be told to leave again ... you obviously don't know what is happening here ,  ... i would consider it an act of arrogance by London

we are living Brexit on a daily basis you obviously have no clue about Brexit and the process behind it and the levels of anger Brexit has brung especially in Scotland where 62% voted to remain in the EU which will soon lead to the end of the UK ... do you want a link for that as well ??

 

The link I posted was similar to yours. It was just a little additional information. It wasn't intended to belittle your post at all.

I gather that you live in Scotland and are likely very up to date on brexit. I don't live in the UK or Scotland and I'm very likely not as up to date as you. I'm sure there are others here not as up to date as well. That's why we need reference links.

Also, if we allow people to make aggressive & provocative posts without anything to back them up we will have chaos here. You need to back up what you say!

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Oh my, that's got a little heated as far as I can see, please don't get all heated up about it.  The UK have left the EU, it is what it is.  Fix the problems so you can move on, do the autopsies later.

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