A shortage of lorry drivers in Britain has reached “catastrophic proportions”, says the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
Several factors have led to “crisis levels” of fewer drivers: Brexit, hostility to lorries, and Covid-19.
The RHA has called on the Government to act quickly to help resolve the problem.
The RHA claims consumer costs will rise as freight rates become unsustainable.
Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, said:
“The upturn in the economy since Covid-19 is increasing demand across supply chains and the reopening of non-essential retail outlets and parts of the hospitality sector is making the situation even worse.
“The pandemic also resulted in the loss of about 12 months of driver training and testing.
The long-term ineffectiveness of apprenticeships for lorry drivers and the general hostility from authorities and the government is also unhelpful for recruiting and retaining drivers.
“We need the Government to act and address the driver shortage for the industry and the drivers.
“While we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7,000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”