HGV drivers have an incredibly demanding job as they make long journeys regularly. To ensure their safety and well-being, it is essential to have adequate roadside facilities to support them. This includes rest areas, parking spots, toilets, and other amenities.
Similarly, providing them with HGV training will help drivers follow current road safety guidelines and reduce the risk of road accidents. It will also ensure that all drivers are aware of their legal obligations and can comply with them fully.
According to Roads Minister Richard Holden, on 24 November 2022, the government set aside up to £100 million to upgrade roads and provide safer stopping zones for lorry drivers. This funding will enhance roadside facilities making their journey more comfortable.
The Government’s Initiative
Inaugurating the funding at the Red Lion Truckstop in Northamptonshire was one of the 33 steps to counter the deficit of HGV drivers and enhance their recruitment. It targeted boosting security and welfare facilities like showers, eateries and other rest zones.
Roads Minister Richard Holden expressed his pride regarding the government’s decision to financially aid the industry in enhancing the well-being of HGV drivers. Paying homage to lorry drivers also makes being an HGV driver an appealing career option to others.
The funding program is based on Part One of the ‘The National Survey on Lorry Parking’ scheme, which offers relevant data on essential augmentations and where to implement them on the country’s roadside network.
From the announcement, share-bidding for over half a billion (£32.5 million from the current match funding initiative in addition to £20 million from National Highways released earlier) was open to truck-stop and road service operators for enhanced security and amenities.
The industry is devoted to assisting the government in accomplishing its long-term goals by furnishing parking spaces on roadsides and attending to HGV drivers’ safety and welfare needs.
Constructing more efficient roadside amenities will ensure everyone feels secure on the streets. HGV drivers will get to make required stops, refuel and take adequate rest, enhancing their welfare and safety on the road.
In addition to increasing the number of HGV driver assessments, the government’s 33 measures to support Britain’s transportation sector include providing training opportunities by establishing HGV training centers and motivating people to move to this sector.
Subsequently, many drivers who have taken the HGV training pass their exams easily. From March to May of 2022, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency conducted nearly 30 thousand assessments – a 54% rise compared to 2019.
In an interview, Ben B, director of an HGV training provider, HGVT, said, “It’s good to see the government is spending the taxpayer’s money on the roadside facilities. This would vastly improve the conditions for the drivers and get more drivers on the road.”
He added, “This means we as a company will be busy in coming years to train even more lorry drivers.”
HGV training programs ensure that all truck drivers are up to date with the latest safety regulations and best practices. They help increase the overall skill level of drivers, improve driver confidence and guarantee road safety.
The government’s initiative in this sector is a critical measure in improving the well-being of HGV drivers and guaranteeing their safety. This step was essential to enhance the existing road facilities and upgrade road safety.