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HGV shortage: UK won't recover from crisis until 2023 expert warns – fears for Christmas


Due to the shortfall of 100,000 lorry drivers, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned there will be no “quick fix” to the supply chain crisis crippling the UK. Such is the severe shortage of drivers, Rod McKenzie managing director of policy and public affairs for the RHA, warned further shortages should be expected as we move towards Christmas. Indeed, Mr McKenzie claimed Christmas will not be “normal” as he predicted the industry will need at least a year to recover.

Speaking Express.co.uk, he said: “I think this is a long term problem we’re facing. There are no quick fixes.

“There are no instant answers. It won’t all be over by Christmas.

“If we do all the things that we’ve asked the government to address, including facilities, we would expect, you know that to start paying off in terms of better driver numbers in about a year’s time.

“By 2022 to 2023, that is when we would be starting to get through this if all goes well.”

The RHA has called on the Government to make a raft of changes to the industry in not just pay but also in driver conditions and more infrastructure such as suitable pitstops and improved roads.

In order to attempt to aid issues, the Government has offered 4,700 visas for foreign food haulage drivers on a six-month basis.

However, just 127 foreign drivers have taken up the scheme leading Mr McKenzie to warn of an abnormal Christmas for many.

He concluded: “This is not some sort of terrible wasteland we’re looking at for Christmas.

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Lorry driver shortages have also been seen in the EU with logistics analysts Transport Intelligence telling The i, several countries are lacking drivers.

According to data from 2020, they indicated Poland was missing up to 124,00 drivers.

France has suffered a shortfall of 43,000 drivers since 2019, while Germany’s current numbers may rise to 185,000 by 2027.

Indeed, Mr Johnson pointed to these issues to insist the UK is not the only country suffering from shortages.

He said during the Conservative Party Conference: “The supply chain problem is caused very largely by the strength of the economic recovery.

“What you will see is brilliant logistic experts in our supermarket chains, in our food processing industry, getting to grips with it, finding the staff that they need.

“We will help them in any way that we can.

“But the shortage is global.”

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