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HGV driver shortage raises concerns for economy

Section:  Regions

A STARK warning has been issued over the economic effect of a serious shortage of HGV drivers.

HGV WARNING . . . pictured are Chic Brodie, Oliver Mundell MSP, Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Nithcree Training MD Geoff Campbell

Dozens of drivers are required for haulage firms in Dumfries and Galloway, with an estimated shortage of 11,000 in Scotland.
The grim forecast was highlighted by managing director of Dumfries firm Nithcree Training Geoff Campbell when he held a constructive with Scottish Secretary and local MP David Mundell and Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell.
Mr Campbell said: “In Scotland we now face a shortage of 11,000 Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers in Scotland.
“As a recent Scottish Government report indicated, only two per cent of HGV drivers in Scotland are under the age of 25, one per cent are women and an estimated three per cent are from a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
“At the other end of the scale, an estimated 55 per cent of drivers are over the age of 50.”
The meeting involved the Scottish Road Haulage Group.
Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell said: “This was a very positive and productive meeting and it is always good to meet with successful local businesses.
“However, it was clear from our discussions that there are major issues facing the haulage industry not only locally but across the United Kingdom particularly in recruiting drivers.”
He added: “Without urgent action that will see drivers recruited through the necessary requirements then there will be a situation where we will see a shortage of deliveries for customers and empty supermarket shelves.”
Mr Mundell says more action should have been taken by the Scottish Government to address the problem.
And he said: “This is also a real opportunity to create jobs by utilising the M74 motorway network and the A75 which would really develop the industry across Dumfries and Galloway and I want this issue to be a priority for the new South of Scotland Enterprise agency.”

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