HGV Driver shortage: rules relaxation not the answer

28 July 2021 by CSG

A temporary relaxation of HGV working hours rules risks compromising the safety of its drivers and the public, says national waste management specialist CSG.

The company, which operates a fleet of 135 HGVs across England, Scotland and Wales, has expressed concern following the Transport Secretary’s announcement in response to a nationwide shortage of qualified drivers.

Steve Hicks, HR director for CSG, said: “While we recognise that the current shortage of licensed HGV drivers is having a serious impact on the operations of many organisations, we would be deeply concerned if the exemptions to driving hours were in any way to compromise safety.

“The Government announcement means that drivers can now drive for 10 hours per day, and up to 11 hours twice a week to support the delivery of supplies throughout the UK.

“Here at CSG, we understand that many of our own drivers are worried about the repercussions of the rules relaxation, so we have reassured them that our commitment to driver safety and training remains unchanged.

“We value the safety of our drivers and the people they share the roads with, so we will not be expecting our fleet to work extended hours.

“Customers will also be pleased to know that we can continue to deliver our essential waste management services, as we have throughout the pandemic.”

The Government’s announcement aims to address a widespread shortage of qualified HGV drivers. Similar emergency measures were introduced last year to enable food and medical supply deliveries as part of the Covid response.

The UK is currently facing a shortage of up to 60,000 HGV drivers – a situation likely to worsen as learner lorry drivers struggle to book test centre places.

Steve Hicks added: “CSG is one of the few companies that will recruit newly-qualified drivers, who we support through additional instruction such as ADR training, UKPIA, PTS and HP water jetting to enable them to carry out hazardous waste collections.

“We are currently recruiting for a number of roles, from HGV learners to experienced Class 1 and Class 2 drivers, supporting both domestic and industrial customers.”

CSG, which operates from 27 sites across the UK, is one of the largest privately-owned industrial and domestic environmental waste management groups in Britain. CSG employs over 550 people nationally, supporting a national network of waste treatment and recycling service centres.