Motorists may very well be caught on icy roads this winter due to a scarcity of gritter drivers, councils have warned.
Native authorities are struggling to retain and recruit bin lorry drivers – and this might have a knock-on impact when wintry situations hit.
Situations can flip treacherous if roads are untreated after heavy snowfall or temperatures drop under freezing for a protracted interval.
The Native Authorities Affiliation, which represents councils in England and Wales, says the general public sector is struggling to compete with the salaries on provide from non-public corporations.
Transport spokesman David Renard added: “Whereas most councils have been in a position to preserve providers working, some might discover that their gritting providers are affected in the identical method that some have seen waste assortment providers impacted.”
Though he harassed that councils shall be attempting to plan forward to make sure their winter providers are resilient, he warned extra coaching for this on-demand sector will “not alleviate the short-term strain on frontline providers”.
Mr Renard stated: “Quick-inflating HGV driver salaries within the non-public sector dangers exacerbating points within the public sector, with the rises probably making a retention in addition to a recruitment downside for councils and their contractors.”
It comes as a scarcity of HGV drivers continues to trigger widespread disruption within the UK – with a number of the nation’s greatest grocery store chains and eating places being affected in latest weeks.
Final month, the Street Haulage Affiliation stated that the UK wants 100,000 extra HGV drivers whether it is to satisfy demand – and with hauliers upping pay packets to entice candidates, it seems councils are coming underneath pressure.
Yesterday, ministers introduced they plan to increase a fast-track scheme to permit as much as 5,000 folks to be educated as HGV drivers, all with a view to assuaging the present provide chain disaster.
Training Secretary Nadhim Zahawi stated a further 2,000 locations are going to be opened up, and the programs are free.
However given these programs take as much as 16 weeks to finish, educated drivers will not be hitting the roads earlier than Christmas – fuelling fears that shortages may overshadow this 12 months’s festivities.