Leeds HGV drivers rubbish government plan to bring in EU drivers to aid fuel pump crisis

HGV drivers being brought across from the EU are not a solution to the current driver shortage according to Leeds haulage firms.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:45 am

As the fuel supplies of the entire country continue to be plunged into chaos, the Government have suggested granting temporary visas for European drivers to reduce the current strain put on the industry.

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This suggestion has been widely condemned and Leeds based haulage firms have questioned the viability of such a plan, instead calling on those at Westminster to find a more permanent solution to the problem.

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Leeds based haulage firms have rubbished suggestion of bringing in temporary EU drivers. Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire

Philip Gregg of Brennan Haulage Ltd commented: “I don't think bringing in drivers from the EU will help at all really. Bringing in 5,000 drivers for three months when we are almost 100,000 short, isn't going to help anything.”

When asked how companies could better advertise the position to younger people Mr Gregg stated: “I don't know. If they don't want to do it then I don't know. It's a hard job and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Farsley Transport criticised insurance companies for making the job almost impossible for young people stating: “You're going to pay a couple of thousand pound (for the licence) and nobody is going to take you on because the insurance companies won't cover you. They want experienced drivers and not somebody fresh out of training.”

The spokesperson went on to echo Mr Gregg's thoughts regarding bringing in temporary drivers from within the EU stating: “There's been a massive decline in the influx of younger, fresher drivers but bringing somebody in on a short term visa? I don't think that will help much at all if I'm honest.”

The Government are under increasing pressure to solve the ongoing fuel pump crisis. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A spokesperson for T Riley Transport Ltd was similarly dismissive of the Government's plan stating: “There needs to be a focus on the long term because I don't think anybody is going to be coming over for a few months. There not going to be getting much better pay then they will need to go back just before Christmas so why would they do it?”

Before similarly criticising the policy of insurance companies when stating: “There needs to be better wages, better facilities but the difficulty with a younger driver is you can't insure them because insurance companies say you need experience, but how do you get experience if your a young driver?”

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