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HGV SHORTAGE: Improved facilities required for lorry drivers in Wrexham

HGV SHORTAGE: Improved facilities required for lorry drivers in Wrexham

Councillors in Wrexham were told the issue had been caused by a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit

IMPROVED facilities are required for lorry drivers in Wrexham to help address a national shortage of truckers, it’s been claimed.

A survey of members of the Road Haulage Association estimates there is currently a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.

It has recently led to deliveries of petrol, food and other goods being disrupted.

Councillors in Wrexham were told yesterday (Thursday, 30 September) the issue had been caused by a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

It has resulted in Wrexham Council experiencing difficulty in receiving deliveries, particularly of building materials.

However, one community leader said poor working conditions were also to blame, highlighting a lack of truck stops and toilet facilities on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

Speaking at a meeting of backbench politicians, Cllr Mike Davies said: “We’re all aware that there’s been a shortage of LGV and HGV drivers, partially due to Brexit, but also because we’ve lost so many in the country.

“As a town which has one of the largest industrial estates in the country, we rely on these workers to keep our factories going, providing them with supplies etc.

“I’ve spoken to a few drivers and read so many reports and comments from drivers as to why they are leaving, and a lot of it’s down to conditions.

“As a town which has a lot of LGVs because of the factories we’ve got, I’d like to encourage the council to provide better facilities, because we do hear so many stories of drivers parking overnight.

“They have no toilets and they’re parked all over the industrial estate in lay-bys.”

Cllr Davies suggested a lorry park should be created on the industrial estate with showers and toilets for drivers.

The request was raised as members of the council’s customers, performance, resources and governance scrutiny committee discussed a report on the impact of Brexit on the area.

The document shows Wrexham is currently experiencing a number of supply chain issues and an increase in the price of materials such as copper and cables.

Council leader Mark Pritchard said talks had been held recently about the possibility of a truck facility being built on the town’s industrial estate.

However, he said the plans were dependent on government funding being made available.

He said: “It isn’t our responsibility – it’s up to Westminster and Cardiff to find the funding.

“There has been on ongoing discussions with Wrexham Industrial Estates for a transport site there.

“That’s been ongoing for a long time and that was supposed to be done by now.”

Councillors asked to be kept updated on the HGV driver shortage and the impact on local fuel and food supplies at the end of the discussion.

 

Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter


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