'Appalling' treatment of lorry drivers leading to fears of serious shortage
Lorries on the A19 (Image: Evening Gazette)
Warning there could be up to 100,000 too few lorry drivers within a decade as young people turn their back on the roads
Poor facilities and "appalling" treatment of lorry drivers is leading to a serious shortage of young people looking to do the job, it has been claimed.
The warning came as the boss of a Teesside shipping giant revealed there could be a gap of up to 100,000 drivers within the next decade.
Jerry Hopkinson, chief operating officer of PD Ports, was sharing his worries over the lack of young lorry drivers coming through and the impacts on business at the latest Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) cabinet meeting.
His concerns came as TVCA leaders discussed the £20m and £25m grants offered to Middlesbroughand Darlington railway stations - as well as wider levels of investment offered to transport infrastructure on Teesside.
Mr Hopkinson honed in on rail freight and told members he was speaking on the back of a study commissioned by his firm.
He added: "The view is that over the next five years, and certainly within the next 10 years, there will be a shortage of lorry drivers to the tune of 76,000 to 100,000 drivers.
"The average age of lorry drivers in the UK at the moment is 57-years-old. The percentage of people aged under 25 coming into the haulage industry as lorry drivers is less than 5% of the total population of drivers.