By Alex Glenn • 11 October 2021 • 16:06
Gritter driver shortage could mean icy death trap roads this winter in the UK.
Fears are mounting that roads could be left covered in ice this winter as councils struggle to employ enough drivers. The problem is said to be worse due to Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. Empty supermarket shelves and the recent issue with fuel is being blamed on the lack of HGV drivers.
At the moment the shortfall in drivers is thought to stand at around 100,000. It is not possible to fill the vacancies quickly enough.
According to The Mirror gritting services across the UK could be badly affected as we head into winter.
Cllr David Renard, transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, explained: “While most councils have been able to keep services running, some may find that their gritting services are affected in the same way that some have seen waste collection services impacted.”
He added: “As they do every year, councils will be working proactively to plan ahead and ensure that their winter services are as resilient as they can be.”
The lack of HGV drivers in the private sector could hit councils hard. In a normal year, HGV drivers can expect to earn between £28,000 and £32,500. Some supermarket chains are now offering drivers up to £70,000 to ensure that their shelves are kept fully stocked.
Jim McMahon the Shadow Transport Secretary for Labour commented: “These issues aren’t going to disappear, no matter how much the Prime Minister tries to ignore them or blame others.
“Until the Government gets a grip, ordinary people will continue to pay the price for the major labour and skills shortages that will make an already critical situation worse.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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