Christopher Johns, 37, from Burwash, Sussex, has been an HGV driver for more than 10 years, and drives long distance in UK and Europe. Right here he speaks about what conditions are adore for HGV drivers within the UK, and why he feels there may be no like a flash solution to the latest truck driver crisis.
“I’m always staggered by how grand truck drivers have been taken for granted within the UK. We work so hard for terribly cramped money. Our wages have desperately wanted improving for such a long time. A friend’s starting salary at Lidl is the same as that of many trucker chums. I may perhaps earn more if I did temp work, adore many others accomplish, however I have a significant other and three adolescents, I want job security. I only earn adequate now because I accomplish a lot of overseas work, where you procure larger costs allowances.
“The adaptation between how truck drivers are treated within the UK and the remainder of Europe is titanic. We aren’t catered for within the UK. There are inadequate or no facilities at all across parts of the UK, particularly within the south, to handle a driver’s needs.
“We can exercise a week or two or longer away from residence. This means we are compelled to sleep in miniature lay-bys or industrial estate roads, with no access to basic amenities. The larger providers and products on the corpulent motorways are peaceful no longer outfitted with adequate parking for large-scale automobiles, and they charge trucks around £30 a night for the privilege. The remainder of Europe doesn’t charge for parking. France, for instance, supports HGV drivers with the Routier chain of partnership restaurants and bars – they give showers, free parking. Getting into Europe is a relief every time.
“My family has suffered a lot – I’d say this is the same for many within the trade. My significant other has been extremely understanding with regards to my time away, which in an average month is about 20 days. I have missed so grand of my adolescents growing up – I remorse this so grand.
“The federal government may peaceful consider about showing a lot more appreciation for those peaceful riding earlier than attempting to acquire thousands of unusual drivers. Extending working hours for HGV drivers can be crazy – there can be tainted accidents. I also consider the selection of EU drivers prepared to arrive back will be lower than some may predict. Far more emphasis needs to be placed on this job as a professional trade, instead of moral a tick on your licence.
The wage structure needs taking a scrutinize at. But first and important they must make conditions better within the UK. There is no easy answer to this shortfall; this was such an apparent and predictable situation we are now in. The UK infrastructure is so far from where it needs to be. I can’t investigate cross-check issues improving overnight.”