“Shameful” figures from a survey of 1,700 HGV drivers reveal 76% had needed to use a toilet during their working day in the last year but none had been available.

More than one in 10 (11%) said that a lack of access to toilet facilities had resulted in them developing a medical condition or causing a disability.

Many (38%) said that since the pandemic access to toilets had worsened; 44% said cleanliness was the greatest problem and 22% complained about restricted opening times.

The survey was carried out by trade union Unite on the eve of World Toilet Day and its general secretary Sharon Graham said it had a zero tolerance approach to any employer denying drivers toilet dignity: “These figures are shameful,” she said. “They demonstrate that not only are lorry drivers routinely denied access to decent clean toilets but problems are getting worse.

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“Toilet dignity is a fundamental union demand, no worker should be routinely denied access to a clean toilet.”

The Department for Transport said businesses must provide suitable toilet and hand washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises.

“HSE guidance states that drivers must have access to welfare facilities located in the premises they visit as part of their work,” transport minister Baroness Vere said in a letter to employers.

“The responsibility in law to provide access rests with the person in control of the premises.”