Gritter driver shortage could leave roads as huge safety risk this winter 1 month ago

Gritter driver shortage could leave roads as huge safety risk this winter

Another day, another shortage

Last week had reports of possible shortages of toilet roll and Quality Street - but this week the fear turns to gritter vans and an apparent lack of people to drive them.

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As per the Mirror, there are approximately 100,000 vacancies among HGV drivers and in the haulage industry in general - the same issue that caused chaos across Britain's forecourts in the past couple of weeks - meaning that local councils may struggle to grit roads as frequently as they would like.

Councillor and transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, David Renard, said that: "While most councils have been able to keep services running, some may find that their gritting services are affected in the same way that some have seen waste collection services impacted".

He went on to reassure the public that: "as they do every year, councils will be working proactively to plan ahead and ensure that their winter services are as resilient as they can be." The Met Office stated that snow could be arriving in the UK over the next couple of weeks - so gritters will be as essential as they are every winter.

Gritter drivers are usually contracted by local authorities but competitive wages from the private sector means that there isn't enough interest to meet the demand.

Prime minister Boris Johnson recently revealed that despite temporary visas being offered to as many as 5,000 foreign drivers (expiring at the end of February), just 127 people have applied so far.

With winter - and Christmas, in particular - closer than you think and the roads set to be hit by both bad weather and commuters travelling home for the holidays, the government is hoping to resolve the lack of gritters and HGV drivers in general soon.

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