UK facing potential gritter driver shortage this winter in 2021

Councils across the country are frantically searching for gritter drivers, though Doncaster does not appear to be as badly affected as some places.

John Devlin 12//02/2021. GLASGOW. AMEY YARD. 150 Polmadie Rd, Glasgow G5 0HD.
John Devlin 12//02/2021. GLASGOW. AMEY YARD. 150 Polmadie Rd, Glasgow G5 0HD.

Icy roads and snowy pathways could be abundant this winter in the United Kingdom, as a shortage of people who can drive gritting lorries has hit the country this year.

The lack of licensed lorry drivers across Britain has been an issue for weeks now and it’s showing no signs of going away any time soon.

Frozen roadways aren’t the only issue brought on as a result of the lorry driver shortage. The nationwide lack of fuel and supermarkets running low on stock has also been blamed on the inadequate amount of people who are licensed to drive HGVs.

There’s a few reasons as to why there are so few licensed HGV drivers currently residing in Britain. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of these.

During lockdown, many European nationals who were lorry drivers in the UK returned to their countries of origin – and not many chose to return. This alone has left a large hole in the sector, not to mention those who died over the course of the pandemic.

Furthermore, due to the country coming to a standstill for so long, it created a backlog of people trying to pass their HGV driving tests. As they were unable to do this, they were subsequently left waiting for a chance to get their license.

Then, there’s the issue of Brexit. Not only is it more difficult for foreign workers to secure a valid work permit post-Brexit, the idea of working in the UK is simply less desirable to them now.

The tax on European imports has also increased since the Brexit vote, making it more expensive to purchase goods from abroad and to deliver them.

However, despite the struggles the country is facing due to this, Doncaster seems to be relatively unaffected.

Sheffield City Council are issuing a similar message, claiming that there is “no problem” with the amount of gritter drivers that they have at their disposal.

As of right now, frozen roads in South Yorkshire shouldn’t any more of an issue than they normally are this year. Despite this, it’s a good idea to take extra care anyway, especially if you’re driving outside of the county.