Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive Thousands of soldiers put ‘on standby to deliver food’ due to a ‘100,000 shortage of lorry drivers’

Thousands of soldiers put ‘on standby to deliver food’ due to a ‘100,000 shortage of lorry drivers’

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
9th Aug 21 11:38 am

The British Army have placed around 2,000 soldiers “on standby” who have a HGV license to deliver food and other supplies to supermarkets, due to a shortage of 100,000 lorry drivers.

The government is set to make a formal request “imminently” to the Ministry of Defence for thousands of soldiers to be called upon by September, according to reports.

The pingdemic has put thousands of lorry drivers into self-isolation and also due to lockdowns over the last year this has also contributed to thousands of people being unable to take their HGV tests.

A source told The Sun on Sunday, that “messages are being sent out to all Army personnel with HGV qualifications.

“They are being put on five-day standby notice for driving jobs at major distribution centres around the country.

“Soldiers will be put up in hotels where necessary and will be working extended hours to assist with the crisis.

“They will be involved with food distribution as well as the transportation of other essential goods and medical supplies.”

Due to lockdowns over the last year thousands of drivers have been unable to take their tests and there is now a huge backlog and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) have warned there is now a shortage of 100,000 drivers.

RHA managing director of policy and public affairs, Rod McKenzie warned, “there is a critical shortage of lorry drivers and the government are using short-term measures to address this.

Drafting in the Army will not fix the problem,  McKenzie said that bringing in the army to help will no solve the problem and they are not used to driving “civilian vehicles.”

He added, “The government’s next step is to bring in the Army.

“There are 2,000 qualified HGV drivers in the Army. We’re 100,000 lorry drivers short.

“Another issue is Army drivers are used to driving Army lorries and not civilian vehicles.

“Once again, they are using a short-term fix. It is not a good idea. We need to address what to do to get another 100,000 drivers.”

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