Just over half of UK HGV drivers feel underappreciated by the public, according to a survey conducted at the height of the lockdown – a significantly larger proportion than in Ireland or the US.

The poll, carried out on almost 1,000 drivers by fleet tech firm CameraMatics on 3 April, found 50.4% of UK truckers believe the public do not appreciate their efforts.

In Ireland, the figure was 40.6% and in the USA only 36.5% of drivers answered that they felt underappreciated.

In the UK, just 28.7% felt appreciated by the public, compared with 33.8% in Ireland and 37.1% across the Atlantic.

CameraMatics said some HGV drivers had shared their frustrations, with one UK-based trucker complaining that after working a 70-hour week making supermarket deliveries they were unable to buy the necessary food for their own families whilst other key workers received priority.

The pollsters also said many responded saying they did not need or expect appreciation and that they were just doing their job.

An Irish respondent went further, adamant that HGV and delivery drivers were not frontline staff: “It’s not like we are going walking into a Covid-19 ward with no PPE on us,” he said.

Many drivers told CameraMatics that they didn’t need to be acknowledged: “Just doing my bit. I don’t expect appreciation," said one UK-based lorry driver.

Sean McNally, spokesman for the American Trucking Association, perhaps summed up the feelings of the majority of HGV drivers across the world: “We have seen numerous examples of drivers, particularly on social media or in interviews with media, talking about how proud they are to be playing such an important role in our country’s response to this pandemic,” he explained.

“It is important to us that those drivers are recognized and appreciated not just while we are in the throes of this pandemic, but well after we resume normal activities.”