HGV drivers will benefit from £20 million to improve roadside facilities, as part of continued government action with industry to boost driver welfare and tackle the effects of the global driver shortage in the UK.
The funding is part of National Highways’ existing £169 million Users and Communities Fund, and will 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 funding takes the total government investment in driver facilities to £52.5 million since last year. £32.5 million was previously committed in the Chancellor’s budget to provide better facilities right across the country for HGV drivers, to drive up standards and further safeguard driver comfort and safety.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
“HGV drivers play a key role in keeping our nation running and contributing to the economy, and it is vital they feel safe and comfortable wherever they stop.
That’s why we’re allocating £20 million to ramp up security and improve amenities for drivers – building on the raft of measures we’ve already taken to support the industry.
We’ll continue to work closely with the sector to boost professional driver numbers even further.”
Nick Harris, National Highways Chief Executive, said:
“We want all road users to reach their destination safely and encourage everyone, from those who drive as a profession through to people traveling on holiday or for leisure purposes, to plan ahead before setting off and to take regular breaks.
We are dedicated to improving the experience of everyone using our roads and remain committed to working closely with operators of roadside facilities to help improve the standard of parking and other amenities they provide on motorways and major A-roads. We are hopeful that the £20 million being announced today will go some way towards achieving this goal.”
A Logistics UK Skills Report 2021 revealed significant steps have been taken by both government and industry to help address recruitment issues that have plagued the sector for years.