HGV shortage: No parking spaces, fines for breaks and how life on the road is turning drivers away from UK

HGV drivers have warned the UK’s supply chain crisis will not be eased until facilities and working conditions catch up with the rest of Europe.

There are multiple factors that have contributed to the shortage, some unique to the UK and others not.© Provided by The i

Service Stations

© Provided by The i

Drivers told i they are forced to pay for overnight spaces or park in lay-bys where they are not covered by insurance and facilities such as showers, toilets and cafés are far inferior to countries such as France and Germany.

A recent Department for Transport survey finding an average of 18,670 vehicles parked overnight across England compared to 15,012 parking spaces.

There aren’t enough service stations, so drivers are often forced to park in lay-bys where there are no facitilies and they will be liable if their goods are stolen. If they do find a service station, they are often in states of complete disrepair.© Provided by The i

The European Transport Workers Federation General Secretary, Livia Spera, said: “In general parking areas are in a very bad state everywhere, we have been lobbying for change for at least ten years. There are not enough facilities and those that are available are in a very bad state.”

The IRU estimated that there is a shortfall of around 100,000 parking spots across Europe. While the situation is concerning across Europe, British truck drivers widely consider European facilities to be incomparably better than those in the UK.

Oly, a truck driver, said: “You wouldn’t believe it, it’s not just a little bit better it’s leagues apart. In the UK, if you don’t get parked up sometimes as early as 5pm you’re not getting in.

“When you’re carrying goods you have insurance but the company will only insure the goods if you are in a truck stop or secure pound so if you park in a lay-by and your load’s nicked you can’t claim.”

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