Leading transport company quits Road Haulage Association over ‘CAUSED fuel crisis with leaked data’
- Europe, a logistics giant in Kent, has a decent Road Haulage Association (RHA)
- The company accused the RHA of being ‘substantially responsible’ for the chaos at petrol stations in recent weeks
- Queue rises due to truck driver shortage – with only 20 emergency visas for foreign truck drivers so far
A leading transport company left the Road Haulage Association last night as a furious row over the shortage of truck drivers escalated dramatically.
Europe, a logistics giant from Kent, said the RHA was “substantially responsible” for the chaos at petrol stations in recent weeks.
Baxter said he was “appalled” by the tactics used by the RHA, including “repeated leaks” of confidential information.
He alleged that RHA bosses leaked a voicemail recording with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to the BBC’s Panorama programme.
BidFood, one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK, told ITV News they are experiencing ‘significant pressure’, including difficulties recruiting truck drivers
It came as critics accused the government of incompetence over its handling of the driver crisis after ministers unveiled just 20 emergency visas so far that allow foreign truck drivers to work in the UK.
Cabinet Secretary Oliver Dowden said about 300 people had applied to participate in the scheme, but only about 20 of the 5,000 available visas had been issued.
He admitted that the number of applicants was “relatively limited” but stressed that this “would increase”.
The estimated 100,000 driver shortage in the UK has been linked to shortages on supermarket shelves, dwindling petrol supplies and missed bin collections.
The crisis has been fueled by factors including the exodus of foreign drivers after Brexit, poor wages and a test backlog caused by Covid restrictions.
Home Office Liberal Democrat spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: ‘It is astonishing that there are now only 20 overseas tanker drivers who have applied here on UK roads.
Trucks wait at Felixstowe port in Suffolk as shipping giant Maersk has said it is diverting ships away from UK ports
In the face of a national crisis and our ports reaching an impasse, the reaction of conservative ministers is too little too late.’
He added: ‘This incompetence threatens to create more empty shelves and more misery for British consumers in the run-up to Christmas.’
Meanwhile, Mr Baxter said in an open letter to the RHA: “I am appalled by the way the RHA has behaved in recent years. It is no longer an adequate representative body for the British road transport industry.’
He claimed: ‘The RHA was largely responsible for the current fuel crisis by leaking information about fuel supplies, which has caused damage to the country and the transport sector.’
The RHA could not be reached for comment.