The urgent improvement of HGV driver rest facilities across Wales is one of a host of recommendations made in a report by a committee of Welsh MPs to address the driver shortage.
The Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee of the Welsh Senedd said the government now needed to conduct an audit of rest facilities for drivers and create a national inventory similar to the one in England.
It said a voluntary standards scheme should be set up, so truckers can identify the quality of a stop and encourage the improvement of facilities, as well as including the standards in future planning regulations.
The committee said the government should also update planning policy so that warehouses and other logistics developments are required to include high quality driver facilities.
Other recommendations designed to attract more HGV drivers into the industry included developing apprenticeship programmes and boosting the number of training providers.
The committee acknowledged that there was “disquiet” among drivers about the content and quality of training in the Driver CPC, but it added that continuous professional development was a positive and the right training and development would help drivers progress through their careers.
It said there was strong evidence that the current curriculum needed updating and it recommended the Welsh government worked with its UK counterparts on the Driver CPC’s content, “to ensure any new programme is high quality, useful to drivers and relevant to Welsh drivers and industry”.
It also said there was “a disconnect” between the evidence provided by HGV drivers and that received from the industry generally about drivers’ hours.
The report said drivers described how employers pushed them to work 60-hour weeks and then stood them down towards the end of their 17-week block, to push the average to below 48 hours, a practice referred to as “beasting”.
The report said: “The committee was extremely concerned to hear that the drivers engaged felt whilst their rotas were set in line with the letter of the law, those setting them regularly flouted its spirit.
“Drivers felt front loading hours in this way creates a safety concern and makes HGV driving less attractive as a career.”
Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s policy manager for Wales, said: “The committee’s proactive and comprehensive plan to tackle the HGV driver shortage demonstrates that it has listened closely to the concerns and suggestions of Logistics UK and incorporated our proposals.
“Now, it is vital that the Welsh government moves swiftly to enact these measures, and works closely with industry throughout the process to ensure the best possible outcome to support Wales’s logistics sector and wider economy.”