The construction materials sector is hiking franchised driver rates as the driver shortage crisis continues.

Breedon Group, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac have boosted their pay in the past few weeks, MT has learnt.

The rate rises come as the haulage sector continues to struggle to attract and retain HGV drivers in the face of the widespread UK driver shortage.

News of the rate increases also follows reports this week that heavy building materials firm Hanson is in a pay dispute with some of its drivers over a proposed 2.5% pay rise.

A Breedon Group spokesman confirmed that the construction materials company has increased its rates for franchised drivers by 5% from 1 September, adding the rate will be reviewed in a year’s time.

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He told MT that the company is hoping the new rate rise will help boost driver numbers. “We have given a 5% rise to our drivers across the board. Whilst we are retaining our drivers we are finding it very difficult to attract new drivers,” he explained.

He added that the company is hoping to attract more drivers to its ranks, adding: “We are a well- established company, which has been going for many years, with quarries across the UK and Ireland and we offer good terms and conditions.”

Both Aggregate Industries and building materials and construction giant Tarmac have also increased franchised drivers’ rates by 5%, with Aggregate Industries’ new rate effective from 1 August and Tarmac’s introduced from 1 September, according to some of its franchised drivers.

One south west England-based franchised driver, who works with both Tarmac and Aggregates Industries said: “It is not so much Brexit that has created a shortage of drivers in our region as we always had very few European drivers in this area. It is more about the age of the current driver workforce – the industry knew there was a problem coming 25 years ago and that is when it should have acted.”

Both Tarmac and Aggregate Industries have yet to respond for a request for comment.