Road freight supply chain

This is a House of Commons Committee report, with recommendations to government. The Government has two months to respond.

First Report of Session 2022–23

Author: Transport Committee

Related inquiry: Road freight supply chain

Date Published: 1 June 2022

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Contents

1 Introduction

Background

1. In the months since the most severe covid-19 restrictions were lifted, the logistics sector has been unable to fully supply essential goods to the UK’s supermarkets, petrol station forecourts and other marketplaces. At times, motorists have been unable to fill up their tanks with fuel and some shelves have been bereft of certain goods. A labour shortage in the logistics sector, exacerbated by an ageing workforce and record job vacancies across many other sectors in the UK economy, has made it challenging to retrain and recruit personnel.

2. The UK economy depends on road haulage to move materials and goods around the country and to facilitate imports and exports. In 2019, the road freight sector contributed £13.6 billion to the UK economy with 58,817 enterprises employing 289,000 people.1 Some links in the supply chain industry enjoy high profit margins. Other links, including transporters of goods, operate to narrow margins and cannot withstand shocks to the labour market or spikes in cost. If any one part of the supply chain is impacted, the entire chain can be adversely affected. Despite this risk of market failure, the supply chain is fragmented and does not operate holistically. This report, and the recommendations, seeks to overhaul the logistics sector and ensure that the supply chain, and its workforce, is more robust and resilient.

Inquiry

3. We launched our inquiry on 27 October 2021.2 We received 30 written submissions and held three oral evidence sessions, hearing from five panels of witnesses including Baroness Vere of Norbiton, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport and Responsible Minister. We also visited the Port of Dover and two Moto Hospitality motorway service areas in Kent and Essex. We are grateful to all those who contributed to our inquiry, and particularly for the opportunities facilitated by the Select Committee Engagement Team to meet HGV drivers in Thurrock and Medway. We talked to them about their experiences and challenges; a note of our discussion is in the Annex to this Report.

2 Driver availability

4. Lack of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers is a longstanding concern for the road freight sector. In 2016 our predecessor Committee was told that the problem was at least a decade old.3 It found that existing measures pursued by Government and industry would not ensure that the sector had sufficient skilled drivers and recommended steps to improve recruitment, retention, and diversity. That Report concluded:

It seems to us that the apparent shortage will get worse unless action is taken to improve retention and increase recruitment […] simply recruiting drivers is not a sustainable solution if road haulage companies do not deal with issues affecting retention.

5. In its response to our predecessor’s Report, the Department for Transport agreed with the Committee’s broad analysis, but stressed the sector’s responsibility to solve its own problems.4 Commenting on the Report’s conclusions in early 2022, Baroness Vere, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, said “it fair takes my breath away how little has changed” since 2016.5 Fast-forward to the even-greater driver shortage, and coupled with issues within the supply chain system, a more radical set of proposals is needed to ensure that the industry takes concrete measures to put its house in order.

Effect of the covid-19 pandemic

6. The pandemic, which began in early 2020, exacerbated the existing shortage of HGV drivers. Logistics UK said that “over the past two years [the shortage] has deteriorated from chronic to acute”.6 The Department blamed disruption to vocational testing and increased demand as the economy improved as well as “underlying structural challenges”.7 Kieran Smith, Chief Executive of the recruitment agency Driver Require, said “the majority of it was down to the over-45-year-olds leaving in their droves. We are talking about over 50,000 who left at the beginning of this year in Q1 [2021]. That is what triggered the crisis”.8 He also attributed some of the shortage to “IR35, Brexit and other factors”.9

7. The acute shortage of HGV drivers has been felt across the UK’s road freight supply chain. Matt Rhind, Tesco’s Transport Director, told us that driver availability was the most serious challenge faced by the sector.10 Tim Morris, Chief Executive of UK Major Ports Group, stated that HGV driver availability had “been a notable factor in constraining the flow of goods on and off the port”.11 Driver shortages are not unique to the UK. Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, pointed out that countries such as Germany and Poland also faced significant shortages, although he argued that those shortages were partially mitigated by access to an EU-wide labour market.12

8. In January 2022, the Minister agreed that the shortage was easing, although she did not expect it to be “substantially or completely resolved until 2023”.13 However, the latest report by Driver Require, a specialist recruitment firm, published in February 2022, warned both the Government and the sector against being “lulled into complacency”, arguing that “given the extremely high churn rates, we only need haulage volumes to rise by a small increment to reignite the shortage crisis”.14 In its May 2022 Skills and Employment Update, Logistics UK said “while there is still a shortage of HGV drivers the situation is currently better than in the last two quarters of 2021. This is welcome but there is caution about retaining drivers and how the labour market will respond to the sector’s needs when firms begin to recruit for the Christmas peak”.15

9. A lack of HGV drivers has concerned Government and industry for more than a decade. Too few people want to work in the sector, and the retention rate for those who become drivers is low. The covid-19 pandemic exacerbated those trends, turning a chronic problem into an acute one. The acute shortage may now be abating, but it is unclear whether progress and capacity will be sustained.

Government intervention

10. The Government said it had taken 33 actions to deal with the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK.16 The Minister explained that these were a mix of “short, medium and long term” actions.17

Changes to testing and licencing

11. In November 2021, the Department made several changes to the rules on learning to drive an HGV. Those changes were intended to expand HGV driver testing capacity to reduce testing backlogs caused by the pandemic.18 It removed staging requirements that meant learners had to qualify on smaller vehicles first and authorised third parties to conduct elements of off-the-road testing.19 The Minister explained in January 2022 that the process of accrediting private testers to conduct the reversing element of testing had not yet been completed.20

12. Some witnesses opposed the removal of staging requirements for HGV licences and the expanded role for authorised third parties in driver testing. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents worried that the moves would “have a detrimental impact on road safety”, potentially reducing the amount of tuition learners received and the standard by which they were judged.21 Jenny Tipping, an HGV Driver and Instructor for Wayside Transport, stated that she was “frankly scared to get into an artic with someone who has never driven anything bigger than a car before”.22 The Minister said the measures had been successful in increasing testing capacity and rejected suggestions that the changes may harm driver or road safety.23

Drivers’ hours

13. Between July 2021 and February 2022, the Department temporarily relaxed the regulation of drivers’ hours.24 (A similar temporary relaxation was put in place between 9 and 22 April 2022, in response to disruption caused by P&O Ferries services being halted.25) Many witnesses opposed the relaxation.26 The Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics (CILT) said that it placed “more pressure on an already stretched workforce”.27 The Minister argued that reaction to the change had been “overblown”, because few operators had sought to use the extension and it provided “no diminution in the overall amount of rest” drivers must take.28 Adrian Jones, National Officer for Road Transport for Unite, described the relaxation as “a moot point” compared with wider problems with the regulation of drivers’ hours.29 Kieran Smith, Chief Executive of Driver Require, criticised the regulations as “mind-bogglingly complex” and called for them to be simplified.30 The Minister agreed that the system had problems, with too many employers seeing the limits as targets.31

Cabotage

14. Cabotage is the transport of goods between two places in same country by a foreign HGV driver. Countries often restrict cabotage by limiting how long a foreign driver can stay or how many pick up and drop offs they can make.32 Under the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU, which came into force in January 2021, EU drivers in the UK are limited to two cabotage trips within seven days. However, in October 2021, the Department announced the temporary relaxation of cabotage rules for foreign HGV operators.33 Foreign drivers were permitted to make unlimited pickups and drop offs over fourteen days. This relaxation lapsed on 1 May 2022.34

15. Responses to the Government’s initial consultation on relaxing cabotage rules was largely negative.35 Our witnesses had mixed views. Some gave qualified support.36 Logistics UK’s Policy Director, Elizabeth de Jong said it should be “a temporary measure. That is all”.37 However, Duncan Buchanan, the RHA’s Policy Director, described it as “a disaster” that could undermine pay and conditions for UK drivers.38 The Minister stressed that cabotage was a very small element of total HGV miles driven, but she said that the measure had had nevertheless had a small positive impact on improving driver availability.39

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence

16. To carry goods commercially, drivers must obtain a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). It must be maintained by regular periodic training, with 35 hours being required in each five-year period after it has been acquired.40 The Minister explained that training costs prospective drivers “£3,000, at least” and, as of September 2021, more than 150,000 otherwise qualified drivers did not have a current CPC.41 In November 2021, the Department announced a “sweeping review”.42 The Minister said she could not say “exactly what changes we will make. It seems nuts that things are currently defined on the number of hours’ training you have had rather than what you have learned, so something has to change”.43 The review had been completed by mid-March 2022 and is expected to be published soon.44

17. Our witnesses supported the CPC in principle but argued for some changes. Duncan Buchanan said that the structure of the course put off drivers who might otherwise return to the profession. He called for “a more continuous driver CPC [ … ] in terms of doing half-day courses and more flexibility around that”.45 Adrian Jones, National Officer for Road Transport for Unite, argued that employers rather than drivers should pay for CPC enrolment and that it “should be done in work time”.46 However, Logistics UK argued that although some of its members funded their drivers’ training, this would be difficult for small and medium sized employers working to tight margins to afford.47 It also disputed the Minister’s assertion “that the sector does not fund the training of drivers” because it had been told that the Department did not hold such information.48

Testing and licensing backlogs

18. The pandemic and its effects led to significant testing and licensing backlogs at the DVSA and the DVLA.49 The Minister set out various changes that had been put in place to tackle those backlogs.50 Our witnesses told us that in recent months the performance of the DVLA and DVSA had improved, although the processing of medical licence renewals by the DVLA remained a problem.51 In February 2022, Julie Lennard, Chief Executive of the DVLA, said that although straightforward applications for vocational licences were being processed within five working days, “there are currently 33,853 vocational applications where one or more medical conditions are involved which are taking more than four weeks to process”.52 On 12 May 2022, following a public consultation, the Government brought forward measures to allow more healthcare professionals such as specialist nurses to complete DVLA medical questionnaires. However, these changes will not apply to the D4 medical examination process for vocational licence applicants.53

Appointment of supply chain adviser

19. Not included among these interventions was the temporary appointment, in October 2021, of Sir Dave Lewis, formerly Tesco Chief Executive, as the Prime Minister’s supply chain adviser.54 We had hoped to question Sir Dave about his role and the recommendations that he made to the Prime Minister, but his tenure proved too fleeting.55 The Minister said that Sir Dave had done “a good job, as far as I am aware”, but she had not met him to discuss his work.56 We found this both surprising and concerning. Sir Dave has not been replaced, although the newly created Supply Chain Unit within the Cabinet Office may be extant.57 The Minister explained that the appointment of Sir Dave was a “one-off”, because the Government “needed some rapid work to improve our understanding of supply chains in the broadest sense”.58

Next steps

20. The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) described the Government’s overall approach as “tactical and responsive to crises”.59 The Minister told us that she was “not ruling out [ … ] all sorts of other interventions, but I want to make it absolutely clear that we will only intervene when there is definite evidence of market failure”.60

21. In the past, the Department for Transport argued that the haulage sector itself was primarily responsible for addressing driver recruitment and retention. The unprecedented nature of the recent crisis led the Government to take a different tack. That change was welcome. However, the Government’s piecemeal approach has involved a range of limited and/or temporary measures. Government intervention also gives the impression that the issue of driver shortages is for the Government alone to fix. Whilst the Government has a role to play, this is a private sector industry, and we believe the private sector needs to put its own house in order.

22. We want to see greater ambition, which means the introduction of a coherent strategic plan. In the five years since our predecessor Committee examined this issue, the sector has failed to solve its own problems. Little to no improvement has been made on a whole range of important issues. The Government must force the pace and end years of industry inertia.

23. One step the Government should take straightaway, as part of its review of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, is to ensure the logistics sector funds its own driver training, as is common practice in the bus and coach sector. It makes no sense that HGV drivers should have to pay their own training fees when we face continued shortages.

3 Retention

Pay and conditions

24. Our witnesses told us that the sector was not doing enough to keep its workers, especially HGV drivers. Jim French MBE, Co-Chair of the Transport and Logistics Trailblazer Group, said that “the issue is a lot more about retaining the drivers we train rather than trying to keep topping up the bucket when we have a big hole in the bottom”.61 Kieran Smith, Chief Executive of Driver Require, said this was due to pay and conditions:

The nature of the job is that the majority of the hours are antisocial and unpredictable [ … ] When you get to a point where you wish to start a family you end up with a bit of a conflict because the wages to date, up until this year, have not been sufficient for a driver to be the primary income earner for a family unit.62

One driver, whose experience was similar to others we spoke to, told us “I don’t have a life. I work 11 hours a day, try to sleep, and then go back out to work again”.63

25. Some witnesses said that the demands of being an HGV driver were increasing. Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive of CILT, said tighter delivery windows were putting greater pressure on drivers.64 Adrian Jones, National Officer for Road Transport for Unite, said “within the industry there is an almost total lack of respect for the job that drivers do” and this attitude was often shared by members of the public, other road users or us, as customers.65 One driver we spoke to said that he and his colleagues often felt like “third-party citizens”.66 Mr Jones also criticised the lack of facilities for some drivers at new distribution centres, arguing that drivers “have a statutory obligation to take a break, but far too many employers are saying, that is not our problem”.67 Our predecessor Committee recommended that the Government, along with sector organisations, should “discuss the issues around the treatment of drivers and […] consider the merits of a good practice standard or code of conduct”.68 We put this to the Minister; she responded that:

there is a responsibility for customers to know what is going on in their supply chain, what the pay and conditions are for the workers within it and whether or not those are fair. I think there is a role for some sort of charter that says, “This is good practice. This is how you should be treating your workers.” Unfortunately, that was not taken forward by the industry.69

26. Jim French told us that drivers’ wages had increased over the past 12 months, having been “fairly static” since the financial crisis in 2008–09.70 One driver told us that a company local to him had “raised the hourly rate for drivers by £4. You can rake it in at the moment”.71 Mr Smith said there had been “an average of a 10% increase” although this differed by region and sector.72 It is not clear whether that wage increase will be sustained. Shane Brennan, Chief Executive of the Cold Chain Federation, pointed out that employers that had “retained their drivers have not necessarily been the highest payers [but those with] a better relationship with their drivers”.73

27. Kieran Smith argued that drivers’ salaries had been depressed for the last 10 to 20 years, because “we have a highly fragmented haulage market” and “powerful, consolidated buyers dominated by the grocery sector and the high street retail sector”.74 He explained that this was exacerbated by the “outsourcing of labour to agency”, whereby “the Government and HMRC essentially tolerated the avoidance of tax”.75 Tesco said roughly 79% of its drivers were its employees and 21% agency staff.76 In April 2021, new off-payroll working rules (IR35) were implemented that have made such outsourcing less attractive.77

28. Driving an HGV is a challenging job. It is physically demanding and involves lengthy, anti-social hours. The way in which drivers are treated and the conditions in which they are required to work can exacerbate those pressures. Unless these conditions improve, retention rates will remain low. Post-pandemic pay increases can only do so much to improve retention, particularly because the structure of the sector has tended to drive down pay rates in the past.

29. The Government, in consultation with the sector, should devise a binding code of conduct setting minimum standards for employers’ and other businesses’ treatment of HGV drivers.

Driver facilities

30. Most HGV drivers are not regularly required to stay away from home overnight.78 Matt Rhind, Transport Director for Tesco, told us that such stays were “unusual” for his firm’s drivers.79 For drivers making longer trips where stops are a legal requirement after a certain number of hours, however, sufficient safe and secure overnight parking is crucial.80 In many parts of the country, and especially in south-east England, there are simply not enough spaces.81 That is not a new problem. Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, observed that “in 2017 we had evidence that there were far too few parking spaces for people [ … ] we could have done something about it [ … ] my one plea would be: please can we do something about parking with the Government?”.82

Case study: Proposed Stanford West lorry parking facility

In October 2015, following an evidence session on Operation Stack and ongoing disruption to trade and traffic flows around the Port of Dover, Louise Ellman MP, the Chair of our predecessor Committee, wrote to Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, the then Secretary of State for Transport.83 She said:

“In the evidence we heard there was a consensus that an off-road lorry park offers the best solution, as this would potentially eliminate the need to close parts of the M20 and would improve the situation for local communities. Local councillors told us how a lack of sufficient HGV parking areas was causing disruption both while Stack was in place and during business as usual”.

Ms Ellman asked Mr Grayling to make clear whether the Government would commit to building a new off-road lorry park and set out how long it would take.

In the November 2015 Autumn Statement, the Government set aside up to £250 million for a new permanent lorry parking facility in Kent to “to increase resilience […] by taking pressure off the roads in the event of Operation Stack”.84

Following an initial December 2015 consultation, a site at Stanford West, on the M20 close to junction 11, was selected. A 3,600-lorry capacity was planned. In August 2016 a further consultation was launched. The consultation document stated that Highways England was exploring whether the site should provide overnight lorry parking to stop lorries parking on roads not intended for their use. An opening date in Summer 2017 was planned.

In October 2016 the decision to build the lorry park was judicially reviewed on the grounds that the Government had not properly considered its environmental impact. In November 2017, it withdrew its decision to build the lorry park as it could not defend the judicial review. It said it would start the process to promote a lorry park through the normal planning process a formal application planned for 2019.

However, the current Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Baroness Vere, told us that instead of building a lorry park at Stanford West, Operation Brock has been developed by the Kent Resilience Forum to replace Operation Stack during cross-Channel traffic problems.85 It is not clear whether the £250 million funding commitment remains to be spent on lorry parking or it has been spent on other priorities.86

Increasing capacity

31. We heard that the process of building a new motorway service area can take a decade from beginning to look for a suitable site to opening to customers. The planning process is a key source of delay. Local authorities and the residents whom they represent often oppose new driver facilities.87 This can make it difficult for new facilities to get planning permission, at least without a lengthy appeals process, even in areas which badly need new facilities.88

32. Ken McMeikan, Chief Executive of Moto Hospitality, the UK’s biggest motorway service area operator, told us that the national planning policy “has very little reference to the requirements for local authorities with regard to HGV parking and the facilities that should be available for HGVs”.89 Moto Hospitality argued that this meant local authorities taking decisions in a policy and guidance “vacuum”, especially as many “do not have specific policies in their Local Plans concerning the provision of new roadside services or improvement of existing ones”.90 It called for several steps including:

  • targets for the number of additional dedicated HGV parking spaces required on motorways over the coming five to 10 years;
  • clearer and more detailed planning guidance concerning HGV parking and driver amenities as part of an updated National Planning Policy Framework; and
  • the Departments for Transport and Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to consider producing “a joint policy statement which pulls together all of the elements of planning and highways policy into one document”.91

33. Logistics UK said National Highways should also ensure lorry parking is incorporated into initial planning stages of any road schemes.92 Tim Morris, Chief Executive of UK Major Ports Group, explained that “the National Policy Statement on National Networks is coming up for review [and] that would seem like a tailor-made opportunity to try to rectify some of the wooliness and lack of detail” in planning policy and guidance concerning driver facilities.93 We note that this is likely to entail statutory parliamentary scrutiny under the Planning Act 2008.94

34. The Minister recognised the importance of increasing HGV parking capacity, which she described as a “very challenging and multifaceted” issue.95 Indeed, she stated that she was not “ruling anything out when it comes to lorry parking”.96 She emphasised the need to “reach a new agreement with local authorities”, which manage roads and grant planning permission.97 The Government is taking various measures including:

  • £52.5 million in funding to improve roadside facilities for hauliers, announced in two tranches in October 2021 and April 2022;
  • a new National Lorry Parking Survey to “to truly understand where the facilities are and where we are lacking things”. Initial findings are expected in May 2022 with a final report in January 2023;
  • encouraging National Highways to consider how their land holdings can be used to provide additional parking spaces nationwide, to give priority to the provision of lorry parking across the Strategic Road Network and assist local authorities in identifying areas of lorry parking need;
  • updating Highways Circular 02/2013, The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development, fully to reflect the importance of providing logistics and freight; and
  • “scoping work for several public sector-controlled sites identified near to the strategic road network that may have potential as lorry parking facilities. This includes commissioning legal and independent property specialists to evaluate commercial and engineering feasibility, and we will advise on a site-by-site basis”.98

In a 13 May 2022 letter, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, explained that “the Future of Freight Strategy will help ensure the needs of the Freight and Logistics Sector (including HGV parking requirements) are reflected in a reformed planning system”.99 We note that the May 2022 Queen’s Speech included a commitment to reform the planning system.100 The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, which had its first reading on 11 May 2022, includes plans to “enable the right infrastructure to come forward where it is needed”.101 This will include refocussing the National Planning Policy Framework, making changes to the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime and empowering New Local Plan Commissioners who may be deployed to support or ultimately take over plan-making if local planning authorities fail to meet their statutory duties.

35. Overnight parking facilities for HGV drivers are insufficient, especially on key road freight routes. This lack of capacity is not new; the Department’s previous lorry parking survey identified it five years ago.

36. The Government should use the findings of its current lorry parking survey to set regional targets for building additional parking capacity. It should set up a joint Government-industry taskforce to ensure these targets are met.

37. Without clear direction from the Government’s planning legislation and guidance, building desperately-needed new driver’s facilities, and even upgrading old ones, is a tortuous process. Local authorities in Kent, and other parts of the country where supply chain movements are prominent, face an impossible task and cannot be expected to elect to provide for lorry parks in their local plans in the face of opposition from residents impacted by such large projects. This is a national issue which requires a national Government fix.

38. The Government must build on its commitment in the Queen’s Speech to reform the existing planning framework and ensure that decisions for new driver facilities are not left to individual planning authorities. The Government must reform national planning policy to ensure that more driver facilities, which are fit for purpose and industry leading, are delivered. The Government must make an assessment as to whether the demand for new facilities can be delivered with only light reform. If it cannot, the Government should seek to take this dilemma from local authorities and local plans and place the responsibility at a central level. This would rightly recognise these facilities as key national infrastructure assets.

Improving quality

39. Motorway service area operators are required to provide, at a minimum, free short-term parking for up to two hours for all types of vehicles, allowing people to take a break, use the facilities and eat a meal.102 HGV drivers staying at an motorway service area overnight are charged, although that charge is often paid by their employer.103 Ken McMeikan said that Moto Hospitality charged “from £13 up to £32 to £34” depending on facilities provided and whether meal vouchers were included.104

40. We heard mixed views about the quality of managed facilities from HGV drivers. Some criticised poor washing facilities, citing dirty or vandalised showers; others called for improved security to protect their vehicles from thieves.105 Transport Focus’ most recent survey of motorway service area users in June 2020 found that “as in previous years, HGV drivers tended to be less satisfied with the facilities provided specifically for them such as parking and showers than with other elements of their visit”.106 Later this year it is launching a new survey to assess lorry driver satisfaction with and priorities for improvement to roadside facilities along National Highways’ roads.107 Poor facilities make it harder for the sector to attract and retain drivers.108 Kevin Richardson said that “we are still lagging behind some of our mainland Europe competitors”, contrasting the quality of UK facilities unfavourably with those in France.109

41. Several witnesses proposed that the Government should mandate clear minimum standards for rest areas.110 Logistics UK called for a revised Highways Circular 02/2013, the National Highways document that explains how the agency engages with the planning system, to include “more prescriptive requirements for safe lorry parking and adequate facilities for [motorway service areas] to adhere to”.111 The Minister said that “we are probably missing at least a minimum standard” and did not rule out setting one in future, although she was unsure how that might work.112 She added that the Department would “be looking at potentially introducing standards, bronze, silver, gold or whatever you want to call it”.113

42. HGV drivers need safe and secure places to stop, to rest and to recuperate. Drivers told us that too often the facilities available to them were unfit for purpose. Rest facilities must be improved if more drivers are to remain in the sector.

43. The Government should set a minimum standard for driver facilities. This should cover:

  • Security to protect drivers and their vehicles;
  • Availability and cleanliness of toilet and shower facilities;
  • Food options, including healthy choices; and
  • Sufficient provision for female drivers.

44. The Government owns the freehold of a number of motorway service areas. Moto Hospitality blamed the poor quality of some facilities partially on the Department for Transport’s failure to extend the leases on some of its facilities which are due to expire.114 It said that it had been:

in a difficult position of not being able to invest in our sites to improve customer facilities and extend HGV parking areas as the duration left on our leases does not allow sufficient time to recoup our investment.

Discussions between the motorway service area operators and the Department are ongoing, although the Minister said, “we are not in endgame detailed negotiations”.115

45. The Government owns the freehold of a number of motorway service areas. Delays in negotiating leasehold extensions with operators are holding up necessary investments in some of these facilities. While the Government must, of course, ensure it receives value for money, it is disappointing how little urgency it has shown.

46. The Department should inject more urgency and immediately escalate and prioritise negotiations to agree new leases with motorway service operators operating on Government-owned land.

Overnight stays away from managed facilities

47. Some HGV drivers stay overnight in laybys and industrial estates (often known as “fly-parking”).116 The Government does not consider this to be taking proper rest, so drivers can be fined.117 Most witnesses and drivers blamed overnight layby parking on lack of capacity at managed facilities, especially in south-east England.118 Jim French told us about roads in Oxford that often had “lorries parked up in laybys with the drivers with blankets across their windscreens”, because the nearby parking facilities were full.119 However, some drivers told us they stayed overnight in laybys because legal stopping places were no safer than illegal ones and were not worth the expense. One told us: “I pay £37 a night to sleep in my cab and have my tires slashed”.120 The Minister accepted that illegal parking was often due to lack of capacity, but suggested some drivers preferred to “keep the cash” their employers had given them rather than spend it to park legally.121

48. We visited one layby off the A2 in Kent where HGV drivers regularly stop overnight.122 It was not a suitable place for anyone to rest. It was dirty, unsafe, and entirely without facilities. Responsibility for maintaining laybys is split between National Highways and local authorities.123 This one was the responsibility of National Highways.124

49. We also were concerned that, in order to prevent the problems caused by unauthorised overnight lorry parking, Councils were closing off lay-bys on the road network to all vehicles, making them unavailable to any that may need to stop for any other reason.

50. The Minister explained that there are no specific standards of maintenance set out in the relevant legislation. She added that it is “for each local highway authority to assess which parts of its network need repair and what standards should be applied, based upon their local knowledge and circumstances”.125 The Minister told us that local councils should use revenue from fines to “to clean up the laybys”.126 We asked her who was responsible for the safety of drivers who chose, or were forced, to stay in such conditions. She told us that it was “a tricky one”.127

51. HGV drivers should not park overnight in laybys or other unsuitable locations. It leaves drivers vulnerable to crime and is not conducive to rest and recuperation. Yet some drivers are forced to do this as managed facilities are full, while others choose to, either to save money or because the available facilities are poor. The only way to tackle HGV parking in laybys is to build new facilities and upgrade existing ones to ensure there are enough spaces for all drivers. Only when drivers are not able to argue that there is nowhere else to park should penalties for parking away from managed facilities be increased.

Supply Chain Levy

52. The road haulage sector is fragmented, with a few large and many small operators.128 The Road Haulage Association said most of its membership are SMEs with just under half operating fewer than six vehicles.129 Adrian Jones, National Officer for Road Transport for Unite, said the nature of the sector gave rise to “an element of dog-eat-dog and undercutting”.130 The Minister said that the sector “would make a fantastic business school case study of market power within the entire supply chain” with the haulage sector’s small margins limiting its ability to “think strategically long term about the future”.131

53. Set against the many small employers in the logistics sector there are a small number of powerful buyers from the grocery and high street retail sector.132 Jim French MBE, Co-Chair of the Transport and Logistics Trailblazer Group, argued that “logistics sector operators are probably a much smaller voice than the large retailers” when, for example, new regulations in the sector are agreed.133 Kieran Smith, Chief Executive of Driver Require, told us “you have very aggressive, fragmented hauliers fighting for the business and very strong buyers [ … ] they are going to push down on conditions, which cost them money, and wages”.134

54. This mismatch in the road haulage sector between a few powerful buyers and many less powerful sellers worsens conditions for HGV drivers and is a key reason so many choose to leave the sector. The market is failing. What is needed is a sector-wide solution that forces the big players at the production and sales end of the supply chain, such as large retailers, oil companies and online service giants, to properly pay their way. We think the Government should consider introducing a levy on these larger firms in the sector to fund measures to improve conditions for HGV drivers.

55. Introducing a levy is unlikely to be popular with some stakeholders. Levies rarely are. Logistics UK strongly opposed the idea, arguing that “a blanket levy would be disproportionate and would lead to further costs on an industry which already works on tight margins”.135 However the sector has had many years to fix its problems and has failed. We raised this with the Minister. She said that while it had “crossed her mind [ … ] It is quite radical. One would not want to see it happen, but goodness, industry, sort your life out”.136

56. The fragmented nature of the road haulage sector makes it difficult for logistics operators to act in a concerted fashion to improve the conditions for HGV drivers. The actions of a few large companies, such as the major supermarket chains, exacerbates this. These companies use their market power to drive down costs but take no responsibility for the consequences. What is needed is a sector-wide solution, but, so far, despite a lot of warm words, the sector has failed to deliver this. Radical action is required to end this cycle of failure.

57. In other policy areas, where the Government has run out of patience with inertia, it has threatened industry with actions which would be taken if the industry does not find its own solution. Similar examples can be found in measures brought in to reduce sugar content in soft drinks and the use of packaging which cannot be recycled. The Government should mirror this approach in the logistics sector.

58. The Government should give the logistics sector two years to deliver sufficient drivers and high-quality parking facilities. If industry does not deliver, the Government should implement the levy charging mechanism and cause the industry to pay sufficient sums for the Government to build these facilities and pay to train new drivers, so they do not have to pay the cost of their own training. Such a mechanism must be accompanied by Government planning reforms in order for the industry to be able to deliver and avoid paying the Supply Chain Levy.

59. The Supply Chain Levy should be applied to those at the production and sales end of the supply chain, such as large retailers, oil companies and online service giants. These organisations currently make large profits which do not trickle further down the supply chain to the companies which transport the goods. As a result, hauliers and ferry operators are posting operating losses and therefore cannot afford to increase the pay and welfare standards of those they employ. The Supply Chain Levy would require the parts of the supply chain where margins are greatest to deliver improved standards and the resilience to the supply chain which they themselves require to ensure their shelves, warehouses and petrol pumps are full.

4 Recruitment

Attracting new drivers

60. HGV drivers are getting older. Logistics UK’s December 2021 Skills and Employment report found the average age of an HGV driver was 50.8 years, three years older than in 2018.137 According to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, there are only 5,000 HGV drivers aged 16 to 24 compared with 122,000 aged 50 to 64.138 Jim French MBE, Co-chair of the Trailblazer Group for Transport and Logistics, said that the sector had “a major challenge to attract young people [ … ] Most people are like me—stale and pale”.139 We also heard that high insurance costs could be a barrier to the recruitment of young drivers.140

61. The road freight sector is predominantly male. Elizabeth De Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK, said that the proportion of women in the sector “has been between 1% and 3% for the past 10 years”.141 This is despite the proportion of successful HGV test candidates who are women doubling over the last five years.142 Women in Transport criticised what is described as “macho culture [ … ] which explicitly excludes women from the opportunities”.143 Jenny Tipping, an HGV Driver and Instructor for Wayside Transport, blamed unpredictable hours and the physical nature of the job for the lack of women, although she said that “gradual, very incremental, change” was taking places as “no one bats an eyelid anymore when I turn up. If I see another woman at a distribution centre, it is completely normal nowadays”.144

62. Logistics UK told us that “the logistics sector is dominated by people who describe themselves as ethnically white”.145 Its most recent research, from mid-2021, found that 96.3% HGV drivers are white.146 Unite called on the Government to commission “a detailed research project to look at recruitment of underrepresented groups”.147 The Minister said the sector wasn’t doing enough to fix the problem, but hoped that an upcoming “year of logistics” organised by both the Government and industry would help, alongside existing schemes such as Think Logistics.148 In February 2022, the Department launched a consultation about barriers and opportunities to developing skills and careers across the transport sector.149 We note that in 2016 our predecessor Committee called on the sector to broaden the “pool of people from which it recruits”.150

63. The average age of HGV drivers continues to increase. Although the sector is perhaps more open to female drivers than in the past, it has largely failed to attract a diverse workforce. It is disappointing how little progress has been made since our predecessor Committee reported five years ago. That 1% of drivers are women, and only 3% of drivers are under the age of 25, should be a cause for shame for the industry and a clarion call to do more. The Supply Chain Levy we recommend, and resultant improvements in training and facilities, should assist in improving these appalling ratios. In addition, the sector must redouble its efforts to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

Paths into the road freight sector

Apprenticeships

64. Apprenticeships are one route into the sector, but, as Jim French told us, not one that that is “extensively used”.151 He said that by the end of 2021 the sector would have contributed around £700 million in Apprenticeship Levy since its introduction in April 2017, but “it is doubtful whether it will have recovered as much as £150 million from logistics-based apprenticeships”.152 The RHA said:

only now […] are we getting close to having the right apprenticeships in place for the industry. The sector has had to fight to persuade [Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education] of the need for two separate HGV driver apprenticeships: C+E (articulated) and Urban Driver Cat C/C1 (rigid) classes of licenses.153

65. Logistics UK said that “there is an active debate in our sector […] about the usefulness of the apprenticeships system”, and, along with other witnesses, called for various changes.154 These involved liberalising off-the-job training requirements and widening the range of items apprenticeship levy funds could be spent on. However, it may be the case, as the Mineral Products Association said, that apprenticeships are not “perfectly suited” to training drivers as doing so takes less than a year, the legal minimum period for an apprenticeship.155 The Minister told us about recent increases in the funding band for large goods vehicle apprenticeships and for urban driver apprenticeships.156

Skills bootcamps

66. In 2021 the Government introduced skills bootcamps for HGV drivers.157 The Department described these as “free, flexible, intensive courses designed to train drivers to be road ready and gain their licence”.158 The programme includes the cost of CPC licensing and drivers’ medicals, and a guaranteed job interview at the end.159 Some 11,000 places have been made available at a cost of £34 million.160 Analysis from the data provider Tussell found the Government’s one-year investment amounts to more than it spent on HGV driver training over the previous eight years combined.161

67. Logistics UK welcomed skills bootcamps and the RHA said they “could offer an excellent route for those learners looking to retrain who can’t commit the time to an apprenticeship”.162 The Minister told us the scheme has attracted strong interest.163 Manpower UK, a training subcontractor, told us that nearly 9,000 people had applied for its tranche of the scheme and 2,160 places had been awarded.164 The Driver Academy Group, which comprises Manpower UK amongst other organisations, said 7% of its applications had been from women and nearly a quarter from ethnic minorities.165 The Minister speculated that further iterations of the scheme could be targeted at underrepresented groups.166 There is as yet no guarantee the scheme will continue into 2023.167

Other routes

68. The Department outlined other routes to becoming an HGV driver.168 However, some witnesses suggested more routes should be available. Both Logistics UK and the RHA called for “more focus on Level 2 and below skills training”.169 The Federation of Small Businesses recommended “an SME focussed HGV Driver Training Scheme, a shorter and tighter scheme compared to the main apprenticeship scheme”, with loans available to prospective drivers to support their training.170 CILT said the apprenticeship levy should be “restructured to allow the creation of more flexible schemes”.171 The Minister said that her number one ask for the sector was:

Invest in your people. Why can’t you be like the bus sector and pay to train your people? Don’t expect them to pay for it themselves. Three grand before you even have a job is a lot of money.172

69. There are various routes to becoming an HGV driver. The sector does not find it difficult to recruit new entrants. It has struggled to make apprenticeships work as an entry point, because the role does not fit within the parameters set by the Department for Education’s various arm’s-length bodies such as the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

70. We welcome the introduction of skills bootcamps as a faster, more flexible route to becoming an HGV driver. The Government should make the provision of skills bootcamps for HGV drivers permanent, with part of the scheme targeted at underrepresented groups in the current workforce. That policy could be funded from the sector’s apprenticeship levy contribution.

5 Infrastructure

Decarbonisation

Alternative fuels

71. After cars and vans, HGVs are the largest contributor to domestic transport CO2 emissions (16% in 2019).173 In November 2021, the Department for Transport announced that all new HGVs sold in the UK would be zero emission by 2040.174 It has various related schemes in place such as the plug-in truck grant, the Hydrogen for Transport Programme, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation and the Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstrator Programme.175 The Minister told us she was “technology agnostic” about how the Department’s decarbonisation objectives concerning road freight would be achieved but said that it was looking at battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and catenary systems, roughly evaluating each’s current efficacy in that order.176

72. Our witnesses had differing concerns and advocated different approaches to decarbonising the sector.177 DPD, a delivery firm, worried about the “lagging expansion of charging infrastructure” and the potential cost of new infrastructure and vehicles.178 The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) was concerned about the reduced range of battery electric vehicles and how this may interact with drivers’ hours regulation.179 The RHA called for more focus on “long distance rural routes, specialist vehicles and international services”, which it argued were less well suited to battery electric vehicles, and a clearer plan for what will happen to “the diesel fleet as transition takes place”.180

73. However, our witnesses were united on one thing: the need for a clearer plan from the Government.181 Ken McMeikan, Chief Executive of Moto Hospitality, said his company needed to know which clean fuel is likely to be the fuel of choice for HGVs in the future.182 He also stressed the need for additional infrastructure funding.183 Matt Rhind, Transport Director for Tesco, emphasised “just how much more needs to be done in this space”.184

74. In January 2022, The Minister said that the Department’s upcoming EV charging infrastructure strategy would address many of the concerns and our witnesses raised.185 That strategy was published in March 2022.186 Disappointingly, the document emphasised that it was focussed on cars and small vans with the words HGV and freight mentioned only once. However it argued that “many of the principles in this document also apply to electric […] trucks, particularly when charging at a depot or equivalent”.187 We will discuss the strategy further in our upcoming report, Fuelling the Future.

Modal shift

75. Most freight is moved by vehicles on our roads. in 2019, of the 196 billion tonne kilometres of domestic freight moved within the UK, 79% was by road.188 In our Trains Fit for the Future Report, published in March 2021, we found that encouraging modal shift from road to rail freight will be an essential part of ensuring the transport sector contributes to the net zero 2050 target.189 National Highways explained that “rail is most cost effective over longer distances and for higher loads […] Roads are critical to complete the door-to-door journeys for shorter distances, such as regional and local movements or the last mile from a rail freight interchange”.190 Moving to such a model would also permit freight driving schedules to mirror the schedules for those who deliver online goods. Delivery of the latter does not require overnight stays in an HGV cab and has itself contributed towards the HGV driver shortage as drivers elect to work in a job which allows them to see their family in the evening rather than sleep in their cabs.

76. UK Major Ports Group said that its research suggested that there is sufficient demand, currently constrained, to double the amount of shipping containers carried on rail by 2040.191 Matt Rhind, Tesco’s Transport Director, said his company was hoping to double the number of services on rail in the next five years.192 He said that in some cases moving goods by rail would allow it “to miss the distribution centre altogether and go straight to store, which makes it even more environmentally friendly”.193

77. The Department has various schemes in place to encourage modal shift from road to rail, some of which are set out in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.194 It also said it would “introduce a rail freight growth target”.195 The Minister said her Department’s upcoming future of freight strategy would explore “different ways of carrying freight, and connectivity between them”.196 In March 2022, Andrew Haines OBE, Transition Team Lead for Great British Railways, told that use of rail freight would probably have to more than double over the next thirty years to help to decarbonise the road network.197 He said this would require “additional capacity” and an “end-to-end strategy”.198

78. We welcome the steps the Government have taken to get more freight off our roads and on to our railways. We hope this is a process the establishment of Great British Railways will accelerate. The current model which sees freight moved from one end of the country to the other by road is illogical. Moving to a multi-modal model, in which long distances are served by rail and water and shorter journeys by road, will help the country decarbonise and improve the efficiency and resilience of the freight and logistics sector. It will also improve the lives of HGV drivers who would spend fewer nights away from home.

79. The Government, alongside the sector, must work together to set targets and deadlines to switch more freight from road to rail and water. This must happen alongside steps to decarbonise road freight itself.

Borders

EU Entry/Exit System

80. The EU is introducing a new border control process for third country nationals: the Entry/Exit system (EES).199 It was expected to be operational in the first half of 2022 but has been delayed until at least September.200 It replaces the manual stamping of passports with automated checks and controls. The Port of Dover told us the system is not designed for the smooth and uninterrupted flow of a roll-on roll-off ferry port, especially one operating juxtaposed customs control as is the case between Dover and Calais.201 It warned that safety could be compromised if drivers were required to leave their vehicles. Elizabeth de Jong of Logistics UK called for the UK and EU to reach a pragmatic solution, warning that “an increase of two minutes in processing for each lorry would lead to a 17-mile delay at the Dover border”.202

81. The Minister explained that various Government departments were responsible for managing the UK’s borders effectively.203 Concerning the implementation of the EES, she said her Department’s role was “very much dealing with the consequences” rather than taking part in any negotiations with the EU, although it was able to “feed in” to various cabinet committees.204 In January 2022, the Home Secretary said that while the implementation of the system was the responsibility of the French authorities, her Department was engaging with stakeholders, France and the EU to find a solution.205 In May 2022, the Transport Secretary said that his Department was working closely with his European colleagues, particularly his French analogue.206

82. The introduction of the EU’s new Entry/Exit system later in 2022 threatens to cause further confusion, disruption, and delay at the UK’s border, particularly at the Port of Dover. The Minister stressed that other Departments were primarily responsible for the management of the UK’s borders. We recognise the division of departmental responsibility, but managing disruption will be the responsibility of the Department for Transport. It is crucial the Government gets a grip of this issue and engages urgently not just with the European Commission but with its counterparts in France and Ireland whose trade could also be disrupted if a solution cannot be found.

Conclusions and recommendations

Driver availability

1. A lack of HGV drivers has concerned Government and industry for more than a decade. Too few people want to work in the sector, and the retention rate for those who become drivers is low. The covid-19 pandemic exacerbated those trends, turning a chronic problem into an acute one. The acute shortage may now be abating, but it is unclear whether progress and capacity will be sustained. (Paragraph 9)

2. In the past, the Department for Transport argued that the haulage sector itself was primarily responsible for addressing driver recruitment and retention. The unprecedented nature of the recent crisis led the Government to take a different tack. That change was welcome. However, the Government’s piecemeal approach has involved a range of limited and/or temporary measures. Government intervention also gives the impression that the issue of driver shortages is for the Government alone to fix. Whilst the Government has a role to play, this is a private sector industry, and we believe the private sector needs to put its own house in order. (Paragraph 21)

3. We want to see greater ambition, which means the introduction of a coherent strategic plan. In the five years since our predecessor Committee examined this issue, the sector has failed to solve its own problems. Little to no improvement has been made on a whole range of important issues. The Government must force the pace and end years of industry inertia. (Paragraph 22)

4. One step the Government should take straightaway, as part of its review of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, is to ensure the logistics sector funds its own driver training, as is common practice in the bus and coach sector. It makes no sense that HGV drivers should have to pay their own training fees when we face continued shortages. (Paragraph 23)

Retention

5. Driving an HGV is a challenging job. It is physically demanding and involves lengthy, anti-social hours. The way in which drivers are treated and the conditions in which they are required to work can exacerbate those pressures. Unless these conditions improve, retention rates will remain low. Post-pandemic pay increases can only do so much to improve retention, particularly because the structure of the sector has tended to drive down pay rates in the past. (Paragraph 28)

6. The Government, in consultation with the sector, should devise a binding code of conduct setting minimum standards for employers’ and other businesses’ treatment of HGV drivers. (Paragraph 29)

7. Overnight parking facilities for HGV drivers are insufficient, especially on key road freight routes. This lack of capacity is not new; the Department’s previous lorry parking survey identified it five years ago. (Paragraph 35)

8. The Government should use the findings of its current lorry parking survey to set regional targets for building additional parking capacity. It should set up a joint Government-industry taskforce to ensure these targets are met. (Paragraph 36)

9. Without clear direction from the Government’s planning legislation and guidance, building desperately-needed new driver’s facilities, and even upgrading old ones, is a tortuous process. Local authorities in Kent, and other parts of the country where supply chain movements are prominent, face an impossible task and cannot be expected to elect to provide for lorry parks in their local plans in the face of opposition from residents impacted by such large projects. This is a national issue which requires a national Government fix. (Paragraph 37)

10. The Government must build on its commitment in the Queen’s Speech to reform the existing planning framework and ensure that decisions for new driver facilities are not left to individual planning authorities. The Government must reform national planning policy to ensure that more driver facilities, which are fit for purpose and industry leading, are delivered. The Government must make an assessment as to whether the demand for new facilities can be delivered with only light reform. If it cannot, the Government should seek to take this dilemma from local authorities and local plans and place the responsibility at a central level. This would rightly recognise these facilities as key national infrastructure assets. (Paragraph 38)

11. HGV drivers need safe and secure places to stop, to rest and to recuperate. Drivers told us that too often the facilities available to them were unfit for purpose. Rest facilities must be improved if more drivers are to remain in the sector. (Paragraph 42)

12. The Government should set a minimum standard for driver facilities. This should cover:

  • Security to protect drivers and their vehicles;
  • Availability and cleanliness of toilet and shower facilities;
  • Food options, including healthy choices; and
  • Sufficient provision for female drivers. (Paragraph 43)

13. The Government owns the freehold of a number of motorway service areas. Delays in negotiating leasehold extensions with operators are holding up necessary investments in some of these facilities. While the Government must, of course, ensure it receives value for money, it is disappointing how little urgency it has shown. (Paragraph 45)

14. The Department should inject more urgency and immediately escalate and prioritise negotiations to agree new leases with motorway service operators operating on Government-owned land. (Paragraph 46)

15. HGV drivers should not park overnight in laybys or other unsuitable locations. It leaves drivers vulnerable to crime and is not conducive to rest and recuperation. Yet some drivers are forced to do this as managed facilities are full, while others choose to, either to save money or because the available facilities are poor. The only way to tackle HGV parking in laybys is to build new facilities and upgrade existing ones to ensure there are enough spaces for all drivers. Only when drivers are not able to argue that there is nowhere else to park should penalties for parking away from managed facilities be increased. (Paragraph 51)

16. The fragmented nature of the road haulage sector makes it difficult for logistics operators to act in a concerted fashion to improve the conditions for HGV drivers. The actions of a few large companies, such as the major supermarket chains, exacerbates this. These companies use their market power to drive down costs but take no responsibility for the consequences. What is needed is a sector-wide solution, but, so far, despite a lot of warm words, the sector has failed to deliver this. Radical action is required to end this cycle of failure. (Paragraph 56)

17. In other policy areas, where the Government has run out of patience with inertia, it has threatened industry with actions which would be taken if the industry does not find its own solution. Similar examples can be found in measures brought in to reduce sugar content in soft drinks and the use of packaging which cannot be recycled. The Government should mirror this approach in the logistics sector. (Paragraph 57)

18. The Government should give the logistics sector two years to deliver sufficient drivers and high-quality parking facilities. If industry does not deliver, the Government should implement the levy charging mechanism and cause the industry to pay sufficient sums for the Government to build these facilities and pay to train new drivers, so they do not have to pay the cost of their own training. Such a mechanism must be accompanied by Government planning reforms in order for the industry to be able to deliver and avoid paying the Supply Chain Levy. (Paragraph 58)

19. The Supply Chain Levy should be applied to those at the production and sales end of the supply chain, such as large retailers, oil companies and online service giants. These organisations currently make large profits which do not trickle further down the supply chain to the companies which transport the goods. As a result, hauliers and ferry operators are posting operating losses and therefore cannot afford to increase the pay and welfare standards of those they employ. The Supply Chain Levy would require the parts of the supply chain where margins are greatest to deliver improved standards and the resilience to the supply chain which they themselves require to ensure their shelves, warehouses and petrol pumps are full. (Paragraph 59)

Recruitment

20. The average age of HGV drivers continues to increase. Although the sector is perhaps more open to female drivers than in the past, it has largely failed to attract a diverse workforce. It is disappointing how little progress has been made since our predecessor Committee reported five years ago. That 1% of drivers are women, and only 3% of drivers are under the age of 25, should be a cause for shame for the industry and a clarion call to do more. The Supply Chain Levy we recommend, and resultant improvements in training and facilities, should assist in improving these appalling ratios. In addition, the sector must redouble its efforts to attract and retain a diverse workforce. (Paragraph 63)

21. There are various routes to becoming an HGV driver. The sector does not find it difficult to recruit new entrants. It has struggled to make apprenticeships work as an entry point, because the role does not fit within the parameters set by the Department for Education’s various arm’s-length bodies such as the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency. (Paragraph 69)

22. We welcome the introduction of skills bootcamps as a faster, more flexible route to becoming an HGV driver. The Government should make the provision of skills bootcamps for HGV drivers permanent, with part of the scheme targeted at underrepresented groups in the current workforce. That policy could be funded from the sector’s apprenticeship levy contribution. (Paragraph 70)

Infrastructure

23. We welcome the steps the Government have taken to get more freight off our roads and on to our railways. We hope this is a process the establishment of Great British Railways will accelerate. The current model which sees freight moved from one end of the country to the other by road is illogical. Moving to a multi-modal model, in which long distances are served by rail and water and shorter journeys by road, will help the country decarbonise and improve the efficiency and resilience of the freight and logistics sector. It will also improve the lives of HGV drivers who would spend fewer nights away from home. (Paragraph 78)

24. The Government, alongside the sector, must work together to set targets and deadlines to switch more freight from road to rail and water. This must happen alongside steps to decarbonise road freight itself. (Paragraph 79)

25. The introduction of the EU’s new Entry/Exit system later in 2022 threatens to cause further confusion, disruption, and delay at the UK’s border, particularly at the Port of Dover. The Minister stressed that other Departments were primarily responsible for the management of the UK’s borders. We recognise the division of departmental responsibility, but managing disruption will be the responsibility of the Department for Transport. It is crucial the Government gets a grip of this issue and engages urgently not just with the European Commission but with its counterparts in France and Ireland whose trade could also be disrupted if a solution cannot be found. (Paragraph 82)

Annex: Discussions with HGV drivers

On 19 January 2022 we visited two Moto Hospitality motorway service areas in Kent and Essex. We were joined by staff from the Select Committee Engagement Team. The following is a summary of discussions we had with HGV drivers during the visit.

Time in sector

61% of drivers who took part said that they had worked as HGV drivers for over 10 years, whilst 14% had driven for 6 to 10 years. One driver told us that he had found that once people start HGV driving, they work in the role until retirement age, and do not leave to enter other industries. This, he said, was because it can be difficult to enter other industries and HGV driving offers regular pay.

Pay

48% of drivers said that pay had either slightly improved or considerably improved over the last 12 months. One driver told us that a local company has “raised the hourly rate for drivers by £4. You can rake it in at the moment”. Another told us that he had seen pay rise significantly but felt that such rises were only temporary and that they would decrease once the “media hype around driver shortages was over”.

Some drivers compared the pay drivers in the UK receive to their international counterparts. One told us that “in Switzerland the minimum payment for drivers is £17 an hour… I earn 44k a year but if I came from another country, I could earn at least 55k”. One driver who had been in the industry for several years said drivers are “overworked and underpaid”.

Facilities

International comparison

Opinions on the quality of facilities available to drivers in England was mixed. 47% of drivers rated the quality of facilities as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, whilst 43% rated them as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Six of the drivers that we spoke to informed us that the facilities available in France and Germany were notably better than those available in England. Two drivers, however, told us that they saw little difference between the facilities available.

Washing

Several of the drivers that we spoke to raised concerns about the washing facilities available to drivers. They told us that they were dirty and often vandalised. One driver told us that “I would rather stay dirty then use the showers here”. Another said that they once walked into a shower and there “were piles of pubic hair and other bodily fluids everywhere. I just had to walk straight out”. As well as commenting on the cleanliness of facilities, drivers also told us that there are not enough washing facilities for drivers and that they are often not able to access them.

Women’s facilities

A female driver that we spoke to told us that in some service stations there are no separate facilities for women, meaning that she must use the men’s facilities. “I have to walk past rows of urinals, which men are using, in order to reach a cubicle. And then the cubicle is filthy”.

Catering

The range of catering options that are available at service stations was a key issue for the drivers that we spoke to. They told us that most stations only have one option for cooked, warm food and that this is always a fast-food chain. They wanted more variety and healthier options.

One driver told us “All I want is something hot, so I just eat the same meal every day, sometimes twice a day. I have no other choices, so it’s always the same”. Another told us “the last thing that I want at the end of a long day is another Burger King”. A driver who had been in the industry for over 30 years told us “we’re sat down all day and then all we have to eat is crap. We should all drop down dead of a heart attack whilst we’re driving”.

Capacity

For 52% of drivers that we spoke to, the change that they would most like to improve working conditions for drivers is increased parking spaces at service stations. One told us that this was a particular problem in the Southeast and that “you’re not able to get a parking space right up until Derby. You’re forced to park in a layby or face a parking fine”. Another told us that on one occasion they were unable to find spaces in two service stations, and because they had reached their maximum driving hours, they were forced to park in a layby. They received a £375 fine and were forced to pay that out of their own pocket. Other drivers also said that they found it unfair that HGV drivers were expected to pay £37 a night to park, whilst cars could park for free.

Apps

Some drivers did tell us that they had started using apps which can tell you where parking is available, how much the parking costs and whether their company has a payment plan with the service station. These apps are useful as they prevent drivers from driving between stations, which not only drains their diesel but also eats into their driving hours.

Security

Security at service stations was another significant concern for drivers. One told us “I pay £37 a night to sleep in my cab and have my tires slashed”. He also told us “that drivers are security for their own trucks” and that he felt safer in a layby because it’s easier to hear if people are attempting to slash your tires or the tarpaulin covering your load. Others told us that as well as thieves stealing items from the back of their lorries, they also have an issue with people stealing their diesel.

Drivers asked for increased patrols and CCTV at service stations, as they felt that these were currently non-existent at most service stations, and it put pressure on drivers to secure their vehicles. This in turns limits the amount of rest that they can take.

Insurance costs

One person we spoke to trained HGV drivers, and he said that companies- particularly smaller companies- are often unable to take on newly-qualified HGV drivers due to the high insurance costs. He told us that it can cost between £120,000 and £150,000 a year to insure a newly qualified HGV driver who is under the age of 25. He said that “insurance firms don’t want to insure a lorry driver who six months ago was only able to drive a Fiat 500”. This he said has a real impact on getting drivers into the industry. Another driver told us that small, independent companies are continually being priced out by larger companies.

Driving charges

We also heard about the impact of ULEZ zones, and how they can sometimes add two hours to an HGV drivers’ journey, as they try to avoid them.

Treatment of drivers

One driver told us that HGV drivers are “treated like third party citizens”. Another told us about the impact of continued night shift work has on drivers, telling us “I don’t have a life. I work 11 hours a day, try to sleep, and then go back out to work again”.

Formal minutes

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Members present:

Huw Merriman, in the Chair

Mr Ben Bradshaw

Ruth Cadbury

Simon Jupp

Robert Largan

Chris Loder

Karl McCartney

Grahame Morris

Gavin Newlands

Greg Smith

Christian Wakeford

Draft Report (Road Freight Supply Chain), proposed by the Chair, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 to 82 read and agreed to.

Annex and Summary agreed to.

Resolved, That the Report be the First Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chair make the Report to the House.

Ordered, That embargoed copies of the Report be made available, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 134.

[Adjourned till tomorrow at 9.30 am


Witnesses

The following witnesses gave evidence. Transcripts can be viewed on the inquiry publications page of the Committee’s website.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Shane Brennan, Chief Executive, Cold Chain Federation; Duncan Buchanan, Policy Director, Road Haulage Association; Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy, Logistics UKQ1-87

Adrian Jones, National Officer for Road and Transport, Unite; Kieran Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Driver Require Q88–162

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Jim French MBE, Co-Chair of the Transport and Logistics Trailblazer Group; Jenny Tipping, HGV driver and Instructor for Wayside Transport; Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Logistics and TransportQ163–207

Ken McMeikan, Chief Executive, Moto Hospitality Limited; Tim Morris, Chief Executive, UK Major Ports Group; Matthew Rhind, Transport Director, Tesco PLCQ208–268

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for TransportQ268–444


Published written evidence

The following written evidence was received and can be viewed on the inquiry publications page of the Committee’s website.

RDF numbers are generated by the evidence processing system and so may not be complete.

1 DPDgroup UK (RDF0004)

2 Department for Transport (RDF0022)

3 Eurotunnel (RDF0018)

4 Federation of Small Businesses (RDF0026)

5 French, Mr Jim (Managing Director, Road to Logistics) (RDF0021)

6 Gas Vehicle Network (RDF0012)

7 Highnam, Mr Norman (Cold Chain Consultant, Highnam Assist - Freelancer Cold Chain) (RDF0005)

8 Logistics UK (RDF0032)

9 Logistics UK (RDF0013)

10 Magway Limited (RDF0024)

11 Manpower UK Ltd (RDF0031)

12 Matthews, Mr Colin (Managing Director, JouleVert Limited) (RDF0011)

13 McLennan, Mr Thomas (Head of Policy and Public Affairs, British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA)) (RDF0008)

14 Mineral Products Association (RDF0009)

15 Moto Hospitality Limited (RDF0016)

16 Moto Hospitality Limited (RDF0030)

17 National Highways (RDF0027)

18 Parry, Mr Mathew (Director, Frenni Transport) (RDF0001)

19 Philip, Mr Menzies (RDF0002)

20 Port of Dover (RDF0003)

21 Renewable Transport Fuel Association (RDF0017)

22 Road Haulage Association (RDF0019)

23 Tesco (RDF0029)

24 The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (RDF0010)

25 The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) (RDF0007)

26 Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) (RDF0006)

27 UK Major Ports Group (RDF0020)

28 Unite the Union (RDF0028)

29 Unite the Union (RDF0023)

30 Women in Transport (RDF0025)


List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

All publications from the Committee are available on the publications page of the Committee’s website.

Session 2021–22

Number

Title

Reference

1st

Zero emission vehicles

HC 27

2nd

Major transport infrastructure projects

HC 24

3rd

Rollout and safety of smart motorways

HC 26

4th

Road pricing

HC 789

5th

UK aviation: reform for take-off

HC 683

1st Special

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation sector: Interim report: Government Response to the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2019–21

HC 28

2nd Special

Road safety: young and novice drivers: Government Response to Committee’s Fourth Report of Session 2019–21

HC 29

3rd Special

Trains Fit for the Future? Government Response to the Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2019–21

HC 249

4th Special

Safe return of international travel? Government Response to the Committee’s Seventh Report of Session 2019–21

HC 489

5th Special

Zero emission vehicles: Government Response to the Committee’s First Report

HC 759

6th Special

Rollout and safety of smart motorways: Government Response to the Committee’s Third Report

HC 1020

7th Special

Major transport infrastructure projects: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report

HC 938

Session 2019–21

Number

Title

Reference

1st

Appointment of the Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority

HC 354

2nd

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation sector

HC 268

3rd

E-scooters: pavement nuisance or transport innovation?

HC 255

4th

Road safety: young and novice drivers

HC 169

5th

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation sector: Interim report

HC 1257

6th

Trains fit for the future?

HC 876

7th

Safe return of international travel?

HC 1341


Footnotes

1 DfT, Domestic Road Freight Statistics, United Kingdom 2020, 29 July 2021, p 5

2 Transport Committee, New inquiry: Road Freight, 27 October 2021

3 Transport Committee, Fourth Report of the 2016–17, Skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector, HC 68, 29 July 2016, para 17

4 Transport Committee, Fifth Special Report of Session 2016–17, Government response to the Committee’s Fourth Report, HC 740, 20 October 2016

5 Q270

6 Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 1

7 DfT (RDF0022) para 14

8 Q98

9 Q98. IR35 refers to new off-payroll working rules implemented in April 2021.

10 Q209

11 Q210

12 Q207

13 Q269

14 Driver Require, Bulletin: The HGV Driver Shortage Crisis, 28 February 2022

15 Logistics UK, Skills and Employment Update, 18 May 2022

16 HMG, UK government action to reduce the HGV driver shortage, accessed on 17 May 2022

17 Q287

18 DfT (RDF0022) paras 41–46

19 DfT, Changes to HGV and bus driving licences and tests from 15 November 2021, 17 September 2021; DfT (RDF0022) para 45

20 Q295

21 RoSPA (RDF0007)

22 Q200

23 Q293; HC 810 Q75

24 DfT, Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules: all road haulage sectors in Great Britain (until 10 February 2022), 11 January 2022. The retained EU drivers’ hours rules could have been temporarily relaxed by either: A. the daily driving limit can be increased from 9 hours to 10 hours up to 4 times in a week (instead of the normal permitted increase to 10 hours twice a week) – all other daily driving limits remain at 9 hours; or B) replacement of the requirement to take at least 2 weekly rest periods including at least one regular weekly rest period of at least 45 hours in a 2-week period, with an alternative permissible pattern of weekly rest periods as specified below, and an increase to the fortnightly driving limit from 90 hours to 99 hours.

25 DfT, Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules: all road haulage sectors in Great Britain (until 22 April 2022), 23 April 2022

26 RoSPA (RDF0007); Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 2; Unite (RDF0023); RHA, Extensions to drivers hours counter-productive, 8 July 2021

27 CILT (RDF0010) section 2

28 Q288; HC 810 Qq96–98

29 Q146

30 Q152

31 Q384

32 UK in a Changing Europe, What is cabotage?,18 October 2021

33 DfT, Temporary extension to road haulage cabotage: consultation response, 28 October 2021.

34 RHA, Extended UK cabotage ends on 1 May, 28 April 2022; DfT, Ending or extending temporary exemptions to road haulage cabotage, 9 March 2022

35 DfT, Temporary extension to road haulage cabotage: consultation response, 28 October 2021. 72% of respondents stated that they were opposed (108 out of 150 responses)

36 FSB (RDF0026) section 2

37 Q76

38 Q76; RHA (RDF0019)

39 Q290

40 DfT (RDF0022) paras 149–156

41 Q317; HL Deb, 14 October 2021, cols 2817WA

42 DfT, Government announces major review into HGV driver training, 8 November 2021

43 Q444

44 HC Deb, 15 March 2022, col 138072W

45 Q76

46 Q142

47 Logistics UK (RDF0031)

48 Logistics UK (RDF0031). Baroness Vere said: It is not just agency people paying for their own training; it is anybody, even if you want to go and work for one of the big firms. That is the issue”: Q327

49 Correspondence from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to the Chair, 10 November 2021. Baroness Vere said that “based on the number of HGV tests typically conducted in a year (around 70,000*), around 62% of HGV tests were potentially lost during the pandemic”.

50 Qq293 & 423

51 Qq81, 157 & 204–206

52 Correspondence from the Chief Executive of the DVLA, 3 February 2022

53 DVLA, Proposed legal change to support medical licensing applications, 12 May 2022

54 HMG, Prime Minister appoints expert supply chain adviser, 8 October 2021. Sir Dave was referred to by ministers as either the Government’s supply chain, or supply chains, adviser.

55 Correspondence from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to the Chair, 23 February 2022; HC Deb, 17 March 2022, col 137999W

56 Qq272–274

57 HC Deb, 2 December 2021, col 83333W, HC Deb, 1 February 2022, col 113793W

58 Q274

59 CILT (RDF0010) section 3

60 Q384

61 Q186

62 Qq91–92

63 See Annex.

64 Q173

65 Q93

66 See Annex.

67 Q110

68 Transport Committee, Fourth Report of the 2016–17, Skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector, HC 68, 19 July 2016, para 100

69 Q279

70 Q172

71 See Annex

72 Q128

73 Q34

74 Q94

75 Q104

76 Tesco (RDF0029)

77 HC Deb, 28 October 2021, 62892W

78 Logistics UK (RDF0031). Logistics UK said “in 2018, the National Survey of Lorry Parking found the number of HGVs counted making overnight stops on a typical mid-weeknight had risen from 13,708 in 2010 to 18,670 in 2017. This represents a 36% increase (4,962 vehicles). This was, however, out of a population of over 300,000 HGV drivers in 2017. It also found 25% of vehicles counted making overnight stops were foreign registered, in contrast to the 3.3% of total UK HGV vehicle kilometres that is by foreign vehicles”.

79 Q244

80 Women in Transport (RDF0025) para 6.2

81 Q210 [Mr McMeikan]; DfT, National Survey of Lorry Parking, 18 May 2018

82 Q35

83 Correspondence for the Chair of the Transport Committee to the Secretary of State, 22 October 2015.
Operation Stack was a traffic management procedure in which lorries were parked on the M20 motorway when services across the English Channel were disrupted. It has been superseded by Operation Brock.

84 HMT, Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, 25 November 2015, para 1.269

85 Correspondence from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to the Chair, 23 February 2022

86 As above

87 Q349

88 Q182; Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 1; Oral evidence taken before the BEIS Committee, 19 October 2021, Qq26–27

89 Q211

90 Moto (RDF0030)

91 Moto (RDF0030)

92 Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 4

93 Q241

94 Planning Act 2008, part 2

95 Q349

96 Q351

97 Q374

98 Q344; HC Deb, 8 November 2021, col 379W; DfT (RDF0022); HC Deb, 3 March 2022, col 129895W; DfT, £20 million to improve roadside facilities for HGV drivers, 13 April 2022; Correspondence from the Secretary of State following oral evidence session, 13 May 2022. The Department said that that second tranche of funding to improve roadside facilities would “go specifically towards improving security, showers and eating facilities as well as exploring increasing parking spaces for lorry drivers. Roadside service operators are being encouraged to apply for the multimillion-pound fund immediately”. The Secretary of State said: “The Department intends to invite applications during October 2022 and commence grants in the current financial year”.

99 Correspondence from the Secretary of State following oral evidence session, 13 May 2022

100 HMG, Queen’s Speech 2022, 10 May 2022

101 Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill; Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Levelling Up and Regeneration: further information, 11 May 2022

102 HC Deb, 21 October 2021, 57473W

103 See Annex

104 Q246

105 Unite (RDF0028). See Annex

106 Transport Focus, Motorway Services User Survey 2020, 30 June 2020

107 Transport Focus, Workplan 22/23, 8 April 2022

108 Q35 & 173; UK Major Ports Group (RDF0020); Eurotunnel (RDF0018)

109 Q180

110 Q115–116; Unite (RDF0023)

111 Logistics UK (RDF0031). National Highways, Strategic road network and the delivery of sustainable development, 10 September 2013

112 Qq384–385

113 Q352

114 Moto (RDF0030). Details of various sites is set out in Moto’s written evidence.

115 Q394

116 Q216

117 Qq363–365; DVSA, Drivers’ hours: changes to fines for commercial drivers, 5 February 2018. A fixed penalty of up to £300 can be levied on HGV who have parked illegally or inappropriately.

118 See the ‘increasing capacity’ section of this chapter.

119 Q177

120 See Annex.

121 Q284

122 @Committeetrans, Visit to layby, 19 January 2022

123 Qq361–362

124 National Highways, Network management map, accessed 23 May 2022; Kent County Council, Types of roads, accessed 23 May 2022

125 Correspondence from Baroness Vere to the Chair of the Committee, 23 February 2022

126 Q387

127 Q358

128 Qq99 & 270

129 Q43; RHA (RDF0019)

130 Q109

131 Q271

132 Q94

133 Q179

134 Q94

135 Logistics UK (RDF0031).

136 Qq395–396

137 Logistics UK, Skills and Employment Report 2021, 6 December 2021, p 5; Unite, Rising ill health a major factor in lorry and bus driver shortages, 6 September 2021

138 ONS, HGV drivers by age and nationality, 27 August 2021. The estimate for HGV drivers aged 16 to 24 years old is based on a small sample size. This may result in less precise estimates, which should be used with caution.

139 Q168

140 RHA (RDF0016). See section of Annex on insurance costs.

141 Q35

142 DfT (RDF0022) para 184

143 Women in Transport (RDF0025) para 5.1

144 Q196

145 Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 7

146 Logistics UK, Skills and Employment Report 2021, 6 December 2021, p 15

147 Unite (RDF0028)

148 Q320; DfT (RDF0022) paras 63 & 183; Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 1, 6 & 7; Women in Transport (RDF0025) paras 2.3 & 7.6

149 DfT, Transport Labour Market & Skills, 7 February 2022

150 Transport Committee, Fourth Report of the 2016–17, Skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector, HC 68, 29 July 2016, para 53

151 Q192; HC Deb, 25 October 2021, col 57438W. In October 2021, Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, told the House that “there were 1,739 LGV Driver apprenticeship starts in the academic year 2020/21. The new Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship was made available on 2 August 2021. The data for starts since its introduction is not yet available”.

152 Jim French (RDF0021)

153 RHA (RDF0019)

154 Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 7; Jim French (RDF0021); Mineral Products Association (RDT0009) paras 11–14

155 Mineral Products Association (RDT0009) para 11

156 Q318

157 DfT, ‘Find training to become a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver’, accessed 23 May 2022

158 Correspondence from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to the Chair, 23 February 2022

159 Q318

160 Q318

161 FT, UK government funds HGV driver training to tackle shortages, 10 January 2022

162 Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 1; RHA (RDF0019)

163 Q328

164 Manpower (RDF0032)

165 Motor Transport, New HGV driver bootcamps see record entries from “underrepresented” groups, 24 February 2022

166 Qq329–330

167 Correspondence from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to the Chair, 23 February 2022. The Minister said that delivery of the programme began in December 2021. Pathways A to C are contracted to run to 30 November 2022, and pathways D to I to 31 March 2022. She said that decisions on whether to extend the HGV Skills Bootcamps programme will be taken in due course.

168 DfT (RDF0022) section 3; Qq335–336

169 Logistics UK (RDF0013) section 6; RHA (RDF0019)

170 FSB (RDF0026) section 4

171 CILT (RDF0010) section 3

172 Q286

173 DfT (RDF0022) para 157

174 DfT, UK confirms pledge for zero-emission HGVs by 2040 and unveils new chargepoint design, 10 November 2021

175 DfT (RDF0022) section 8; HC Deb, 15 December 2021, col 90338W ; DfT, Businesses to benefit from extension to plug-in van and truck grants, 15 March 2022; DfT, £200 million boost to rollout of hundreds more zero-emission HGVs, 12 May 2022

176 Q403

177 Moto (RDF0016); Mineral Products Association (RDT0009) paras 19–23

178 DPD (RDF0004)

179 BVRLA (RDF0008) section 2 & 4

180 RHA (RDF0019)

181 BVRLA (RDF0008); DPD (RDF0004)

182 Q259

183 Q259

184 Q256

185 Q404

186 HMG, Taking charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, 25 March 2022

187 As above, p 16

188 DfT (RDF0022) para 1

189 Transport Committee, Sixth Report of the 2019–21, Trains fit for the future?, HC 876, 23 March 2021, para 97

190 National Highways (RDF0027)

191 UK Major Ports Group (RDF0020)

192 Q253

193 Q253

194 DfT, The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, 20 May 2021

195 DfT (RDF0022) para 119. The Government said that its various grant schemes would “help to remove the equivalent of around 900,000 HGV journeys off the road each year”.

196 Q397

197 HC 1076, Qq135–136

198 As above

199 European Commission, ‘Entry/Exit System (EES)’, accessed 23 May 2022

200 HC Deb, 15 Dec 2021, col 360–363WH. In April 2022, we were told informally by the Port of Dover that they were expecting implementation in November 2022.

201 Port of Dover (RDF0003). The juxtaposed controls are based on two intergovernmental treaties between France and the UK: the Sangatte Protocol (in force since August 1993) governing cross-Channel rail transport and the Le Touquet Agreement (in force since February 2004) governing controls at Dover and France’s Channel and North Sea ports.

202 Q19

203 Qq414–416. The Minister said this comprised the Home Office, the Border and Protocol Delivery Group in the Cabinet Office, International Trade, and HMRC.

204 As above

205 Correspondence from the Home Secretary to Baroness Hamwee concerning the EU Entry/Exit system, 11 January 2022

206 HC 683 Q167