'Unhealthy environments' responsible for national lorry driver shortage

A new study has found that the number of truck and bus drivers who have had their license denied or revoked for medical reasons has more than doubled in a decade.

According to Unite, their research found that a total of 4,583 drivers were denied or revoked in 2005.

However, by 2018 that number had risen to 12,242.

According to the union, there are now thousands of experienced drivers banned from driving for health reasons, exacerbating the current driver shortage.

Unite added that the increase in drivers losing their license for medical reasons is related to the increasing age of the drivers.

Unite National Officer Adrian Jones said: “These numbers are alarming but not surprising.

“They show that drivers are being pushed out of the industry for health reasons, which makes the driver shortage even worse.

“Employers who force their workforce to work long hours in unhealthy environments will have significant health implications.

“These problems will only get worse as the average age of the driver’s job increases.

“It is imperative not only to improve pay, but also to make conditions more palatable for drivers so that they have access to more nutritious food and that the long-hour culture, which also leads to chronic sleep deprivation, is addressed.

“What is certain is that the relaxation of driving hours, which means that already exhausted workers work longer hours, worsens a dire situation and has long-term health effects.”

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