The number of lorry drivers in Britain has plunged by 53,000 in four years,
according to official figures.
There has been a significant fall in the number of EU lorry drivers working
in the UK, however the majority of the overall drop was due to a 42,000
reduction in UK drivers since 2017.
The lack of drivers has caused chaos across a multitude of sectors, with
supermarkets struggling to maintain stocks, delays to petrol deliveries and a
whole host of other problems.
Whilst Brexit has made it more difficult for EU workers to continue driving
HGV’s in the UK, the stagnant pay and worsening work conditions have played a
large role in the shortages. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated
the number of HGV drivers working in the UK fell 17 per cent to 268,000 in the
year to June, down from a peak of 321,000 in 2016-17. The haulage industry
trade body estimated the UK requires an additional 100,000 lorry drivers.
The lorry driver shortage is taking its toll across most sectors in the UK,
increasingly leaving supermarket shelves bare and recently sparking a crisis on
Britain’s petrol forecourts, forcing the army to step in to help with fuel
deliveries. The ONS said the lorry driver shortage was likely to be one of the
factors impacting the availability of items.