Working at night is challenging for anyone. Whether it is being alert when you should be sleeping, or the stresses and strains that night work puts on the body, it can be tough. However, not all jobs can operate within a 9 to 5 window. If people did not work during the night, the country would grind to a halt, so night work is essential to the economy. When it comes to delivery or lorry drivers who work nights, the hope and expectation would be that sufficient facilities exist to make this work as easy and stress free as possible, especially when it comes to having breaks or down time. However, it would appear that this is not the case. Our latest article will take a closer look at why this is being a problem.
What is the problem?
It would appear that many lorry and delivery drivers are being forced to take breaks or sleep in lay-bys or industrial estates because there is a lack of adequate facilities elsewhere to cater for them. Even designated places such as truck stops, or motorway services do not have the capacity for the large amount of night workers that are on the road. A recent investigation has begun to unearth the scale of this problem.
Back in July 2021, the Government promised to look into this problem (because it is something which has been occurring for a long time.) The hope is that efforts to increase the amount and quality of these overnight facilities would be improved, but unfortunately it appears this hasn’t happened.
How bad is the problem?
If drivers are forced to park in lay-bys or industrial estates, a range of potential issues can arise. Some of these are very serious and can relate to personal safety. The main ones include:
* Lack of access to catering facilities.
* Lack of access to toilet and showering facilities.
* Lack of access to security or CCTV which can help protect the driver and their goods.
Organisations which support this cause are regularly pushing for things to change and fast. The problem is that these drivers are not being treated with dignity. Working during the night is hard enough for all those reasons we mentioned initially, to then not have adequate provisions makes the job even less appealing. This could also have a knock-on effect because it will eventually trickle down to recruitment. People will simply not bother applying for these sorts of jobs if they know they could be problematic. As mentioned earlier, the economy relies on overnight workers, and this could be a massive headache.
Statistics shows the scale of the problem. A survey was conducted to look at overnight facilities within 3 miles of motorway areas or ‘A’ roads. Capacity was only around 16,000 when 21,000 was needed. The Midlands and South of England where were most spaces were filled and the biggest deficits occurred according to the study. Whether you are a same day delivery driver who is travelling a distance or someone who travels across the night, there will always be the need for adequate provision.
The lack of lorry drivers has been a story which has been on/ off throughout 2022. It would seem that studies and research like this will do nothing to help the problem!
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