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β€œThere are driver shortages right across Europe as well, but the EU has committed to improving driver facilities and haulage companies are committed to improving pay and conditions. Until the UK offers the same pay and working conditions as drivers have in the EU then many will stay away.”

Earlier this week, Brussels committed to a financial package to building new truck parking areas with improved facilities across the EU.

Last year, the EU also introduced new rules on road transport to end the distortion of competition in the sector while providing better working conditions for drivers.

The pay disparity between drivers from western and eastern Europe has also been levelling out since Covid and the logistics sector has face a huge rise in demand.

The UK’s leading trucking group also believes the granting of visas to EU drivers is only part of the solution to the nation’s shortage.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates there are 100,000 HGV vacancies, and blames the shortfall on a post-Brexit exodus of European drivers and a lack of driver training during the pandemic.

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Petrol shortage: Hauliers now have too many drivers and must pay to use government’s emergency tanker fleet

Ministers have rolled out their reserve fleet of petrol tankers to deliver much-needed fuel after haulier companies went from having too few drivers to too many

Whitehall sources have said emergency measures taken by hauliers, such as cutting annual leave, working longer hours and staff volunteering, has meant they have now run out of petrol tankers to deliver fuel to station forecourts.

The situation has meant the Government has leased out its fleet of 80 petrol tankers that it keeps on standby at two depots in West Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire to haulage firms to supply fuel across the country.

Officials hope the additional capacity could mean the Government does not have to rely on the Army to help deliver fuel, although the military remains on stand-by and could be deployed later this week. 

It comes as confidence is growing inside Whitehall that the fuel supply crisis is starting to level out, despite lengthy queues still forming outside petrol stations.

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