Two-thirds of MPs support the idea of granting £100m of government funding to train new truck drivers to address the shortfall, exclusive ComRes research commissioned by and the RHA has found.

The survey asked 150 MPs whether they would support the allocation of £100m in government funding over the next two years to help employers to train UK residents as HGV drivers, rather than bring in foreign drivers to meet the estimated shortfall of 40,000 drivers that the sector faces.

Some 60% of all cross-party MPs questioned supported the idea, 29% of which showed strong support. This is compared with 30% who said they opposed the proposal.

Labour and LibDem MPs showed the most support for the proposed funding grant (71% and 69% respectively). This is compared with less than half of the Conservative MPs questioned (47%). One in five (18%) of Conservative MPs strongly opposed the idea, compared with just 5% of Labour MPs.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said the survey results showed a “recognition that the industry has not been supported by the government” and said getting 60% of MPs to support the idea of funding HGV driver training reflected the importance of the issue.

“It’s a very positive result and shows all parties recognise the importance and necessity of the case,” said Burnett. “We’ve been campaigning very hard and have strong support from our members.”

Steve Agg, CILT chief executive, said: “The £100m of government funding to develop and train professional drivers will help alleviate the recognised shortage as well as bring opportunities to individuals. In this essence, we support this initiative but also believe that as well as assistance from government we, as an industry, need to act to overcome the evident skills shortage throughout our profession.”

  • The survey took place between 28 January and 3 March 2015 and questioned 150 MPs. Data was weighted to reflect the composition of the House of Commons in terms of party and regional representation.