William Eichler 11 October 2021

Council chiefs warn driver shortages could hit gritting services

Council chiefs warn driver shortages could hit gritting services image

Local authority leaders have warned that driver shortages could affect gritting services this winter.

Many councils have been struggling to keep their waste collection services on the road due to the current shortage of HGV drivers.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is now warning that the driver crisis is likely to hit local gritting services.

‘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,’ said Cllr David Renard, transport spokesperson for the LGA.

‘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.’

Cllr David Renard said that training more drivers is essential to ensure local authorities are able to recruit enough drivers in the long-term.

However, he warned that this was a ‘lengthy process’ that would not alleviate short-term pressures on frontline services.

‘Fast inflating HGV driver salaries in the private sector risks exacerbating issues in the public sector, with the rises potentially creating a retention as well as a recruitment problem for councils and their contractors,’ he said.

‘We want to work with Government to address these short term staffing issues to ensure people across the country can continue to receive the services they rely upon.’

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