The boss of haulage firm Moody Logistics has written to Transport Secretary asking for urgent action to tackle the huge shortage of qualified HGV drivers.

Caroline Moody is warning that the situation has reached crisis point and is pressing Grant Shapps to undertake an urgent review of the procedures surrounding HGV licensing and testing to create greater capacity and efficiencies within the system.

The family-run firm, which is based in Cramlington, Northumberland, recently recruited two driver apprentices to address the driver shortfall, estimated nationally at 59,000.

However, Caroline says the apprentice training process, which takes between 12 and 18 months, is being hampered by unnecessary delay.

She said: “The government can better support the logistics industry by speeding up the procedures around HGV licence applications and prioritising and creating more appointments for theory and driving tests.

“For example, we sent an application for a provisional HGV licence for one of our driver apprentices more than a month ago. We are still waiting.”

Her letter follows the launch of a campaign by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), which says the industry requires immediate access to the global labour market. It has called upon the Home Office to add HGV drivers to the UK Shortage Occupation List and consider a Seasonal or Temporary Visa scheme for qualified lorry drivers.

Caroline added: “Some areas of the country were traditionally more reliant on EU HGV drivers, which partly papered over the cracks.

“The average age of a lorry driver in this country is 53 and the fact is that not enough skilled younger people are joining the profession to stem the numbers leaving.

“Driver apprenticeships gave us the opportunity to offer people a clear path into a skilled, well-paid and in-demand career.

“At the height of the pandemic, everyone realised the importance of logistics in keeping this country fed and supplied and recognised HGV drivers as key workers. That hasn’t changed.

“The situation was also magnified by the pandemic, which impacted on driver training and testing – to the extent it is threatening the effectiveness of many fleets.

“I’m appealing to Grant Shapps to create a more effective and responsive system that can allow the industry to produce more qualified drivers. It’s a problem that, if left unchecked, will seriously impact this country’s future economic growth.”


user image Big Trucker

Once again failing to address the root cause of a shortage of people wanting to drive trucks for a living.

They are, including but not an exhaustive list, poor pay, long hours, lack of public respect, lack of management respect, weekend working, no family time, poor on road facilities, drivers expected to physically unload vehicles with no help. Etc. Etc. Etc.

user image Colin

I’m currently trying to retrain as I’ll be out of work soon had my medical sent of my application. Still waiting for my license to come back can’t get through on the phone nobody replies to emails. I’ve got my MP to chase for me as I can’t book any theory tests or CPC before I get my license back. I’ve paid getting on for £4000 to get both my C and C+E licences so I can start driving. Not helping that the DVLA are on strike and the backlog from Covid but something needs to be done. I applied on line for my Tacho card and got it in three days. About time the provisional licenses was processed in a similar way if you have no health conditions the license should be able to be issued without a human having to check all the paperwork is only compounding the issues.

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