HGV driver shortage not due to Brexit says Nana Akua
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Jeremy Vine guest Nana Akua has said that Brexit is not to blame for a shortage of lorry drivers, who “would have left anyway”. It comes as there are long queues and closed pumps at some petrol stations. Petrol Retailers Association said that “between 50% and 90%” of its members’ forecourts are dry.
Speaking on Jeremy Vine show, Nana Akua said: “Brexit, I don’t believe that really that that is the underlying issue.
“The underlying issue as he said was that there were 30,000 drivers short before Brexit.
“And at the point where those drivers left, those European drivers left.
“And let’s remember the environment that we’re in.”
She went on: “Sterling was at a much higher rate.
“As soon as Sterling dropped, it wasn’t really in their interest to stay in this country anyway.
“So a lot of those joints left, and instead of us replenishing our stocks and training our own people in this country, we decided to do nothing.”
The shortage of HGV drivers is causing widespread disruption in the UK.
Panicked motorists queue at petrol stations, causing some pumps to run dry.
According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the UK needs 100,000 more HGV drivers if it is to meet demand.
The RHA also claims around 20,000 European drivers have left the UK for “Brexit reasons”.
It says the “uncertainty of Brexit and future rights to live and work in the UK” forced many drivers to leave the country”.
However, an ex-HGV driver told ITV news that the problem in the industry is “deep-rooted”.
He said: “The problem in the industry is so deep-rooted – you can’t just throw money and paper over the cracks.
“If you decide today you want to be a lorry driver, you’ve got to find a GP that will see you to have medical done – good luck with that,” he said.
“Once you’ve done that, you’ve got to send your licence off to DVLA to get a provisional – it is taking them up to four months to turn a license around.
“So, you probably won’t have your provisional licence back until January next year anyway – it is a farce.”
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