New driver safety and security measures at Southampton Port have been criticised for being a cash cow that sets an unwelcome precedent at other terminals.

HGV driver Dave Monk said haulage companies and truckers were angry at the ID card system introduced at the southern port, as well as a compulsory awareness course - both of which companies must pay for.

However, DP World said keeping people safe was its “absolute priority”.

Monk told Motor Transport that drivers must watch a health and safety video in order to qualify for an ID card – which has to be presented if they are collecting a container from the docks.

“Haulage companies not just in Southampton but around the UK are being told they must register all HGV drivers with DP World Southampton if they want to collect containers,” he said.

“The scheme will come at a cost of £50 for the first calendar year, then £35 a year renewal and then it is reviewed after three years.

“This DP World HGV driver ID scheme is going to cost haulage companies an estimated one million pounds over the first three years, as there are approximately 2,500 HGVs using Southampton docks each day.”

Motor Transport understands the compulsory scheme, officially called the terminal awareness course (TAC), is part of a £20m haulier safety drive at the hub.

Its introduction is expected to provide drivers with the knowledge to operate safely within the terminal.

Other initiatives being introduced include a new welfare facility and the installation of terminal equipment.

But Monk said it was placing undue financial pressure on the industry: “Haulage companies are already under pressure with fuel costs, extra insurance costs due to theft from vehicles and training costs for drivers,” he said.

“This is an industry that worked through the pandemic to keep the country supplied with essential goods: food, fuel and building materials.

“The last thing they need is extra costs for HGV driver ID cards.”

A spokesperson for DP World Southampton said: “Keeping people safe is the absolute priority for everyone at DP World Southampton.

“This commitment is evidenced by our distinguished safety track record and in particular the consistent enhancement in our lost time injury frequency rate over the last 15 years, the result of our substantial investment in safety training, awareness, and infrastructure.”

Southampton container terminal

Southampton container terminal

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