Logistics UK has requested an urgent Government review of the traffic management and welfare arrangements for HGV drivers after the gridlock experienced when France closed its border with the UK for two days over the Christmas period.
A letter to Lord Agnew, the transport minister, urged the Government to act upon the “national embarrassment” that left drivers stranded without basic provisions.
Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, said: “That drivers should have to spend two days at the side of the road, without adequate toilet facilities or the immediate provision of hot food, was a national embarrassment.
“This lack of concern for driver welfare could impact on the willingness of EU hauliers to send their drivers to this country, and we want to protect the integrity of the supply chain.”
The business group highlighted the necessity of fast tracking new arrangements to avoid similar situations occurring throughout the Brexit transition period.
De Jong added: “With new customs procedures in place from 1 January 2021, it is vital that all the systems needed to support hauliers as they move across our borders are in place and in full working order.
“From 1 January, the industry will need regular, nationwide real-time information feeds from the government on the status of all ports, combined with early insight where traffic [is] building.”