Broker laments HGV ‘omnishambles’ as driver shortages hit removals firms

Lewis Shaw of Shaw Financial Services laments the damage current transport crisis is inflicting on the economy.

shaw financial hgv

A leading mortgage broker has made an extraordinary outburst over the government’s handling of the HGV driver shortage, warning that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.

The shortage directly affects the housing market – last week the British Association of Removers (BAR) warned that many of its members’ drivers were being poached by supermarkets offering golden handshakes and improved pay offers.

“We’ve had a huge peak of activity but many movers have actually been operating at below capacity, not because they haven’t got the trucks but because they haven’t got the drivers,” said Ian Barr, Director General of BAR.

Lewis Shaw (main picture), a director of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services and a former mortgage broker with Your Move, says the driver shortage problems within the transport sectors are impacting “almost everyone and everything and, by the look of things, is set to get worse,” he says.

Camel’s back

“Whether the straw that broke the camel’s back was Covid or Brexit, we have known about this emerging crisis for a long time. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would know that if you restrict movement, put in trade barriers and generally make hard-working people feel unwelcome, a lot of them will decide they’re better off not being here at all.

“This government, continually lurching from one cock-up to another, has to be held to account for the complete and utter omnishambles it has created.”

His comments follow latest government data from the ONS revealing that 39,000 HGV drivers have left the transport sector during Covid, but that the trend has been ongoing for over five years, particularly among older drivers.

There are currently 52,000 vacancies for HGV drivers in the UK, the highest since records began.

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