• HGV drivers get match funding grant scheme

  • HGV drivers will benefit from a brand-new match funding grant scheme, introduced by the government to help improve the facilities for drivers while delivering cargo across the country.

    The new change will enable truckstop and service station owners to apply to receive funding from the scheme, which is currently worth £32.5 million. The funding will allow necessary renovations and re-developments for amenities commonly used by truck drivers, for example showers and toilet facilities.

    However, officials are requesting that the funding should go even further and are urging government ministers to cut some of the red tape associated with planning permissions so that developers can start to build new truck stops up and down the country that are much needed.

    The RHA Managing Director, Richard Smith, is just one person who has welcomed the change, but has also called on ministers to reform any planning regulations in place for the sake of helping to deal with the current big problem surrounding driving HGVs. There are an estimated 11,000 safe and secure parking spaces currently not available, and this shortage is severely damaging the industry.

    Speaking on the news, Richard said the following:

    “We’re pleased to see that service station operators can apply for grants to improve facilities for drivers – the standards at many truck stops are poor so it’s right that the Government has shown this commitment.

    But thousands of truckers every night are still left without safe and secure places to park - simplifying planning bureaucracy would help firms develop new sites quicker, which would boost local economies and offer truckers the facilities they deserve.”

    Nobody can deny that these changes represent a significant milestone in the campaign for better facilities for HGV drivers that has been conducted by the RHA in recent times. This funding marks a big success for the organisation and is proof that with enough time and commitment, radical change can be brought about.

    Most recently, the RHA has urged the government to make massive changes to the National Planning Policy Framework. As part of the proposed changes, the group’s concern is that the framework is amended to recognise and reflect the current national and regional for truck drivers everywhere, as well as prioritising the welfare of drivers by reducing the distance between facilities and stop points.

    Unfortunately, truck drivers face significant challenges when it comes to trying to get access to reasonable facilities for resting and refuelling. Many drivers find themselves unable to stop for miles at a time and this represents a danger to their health.

    The other significant problem faced by the industry is the fact that many facilities are not up to specification and are of poor quality. This funding is the beginning of good change, but more success will be required to completely fix the problem.