Transport Secretary challenged to spend week as lorry driver with Cornwall trucker

Steve Maclure from Bude is a registered HGV driver but refusing to work because of poor conditions

Author: Emma HartPublished 50 minutes ago
Last updated 48 minutes ago

A man from Cornwall is challenging the Transport Secretary to join him for a week as a lorry driver. Registered HGV driver Steve Maclure, from Bude, is refusing to work right now, blaming poor pay, conditions and lifestyle. Steve is encouraging Grant Shapps to come and see the challenges being faced by workers in the industry for himself.

It comes after four days of long queues at petrol stations across the UK, because of demand due to panic buying.

“The whole industry needs a massive shake-up”

Steve said: “Drivers are really poorly treated, they’re really poorly paid with shifts of up to 15 hours. I hasten to add not driving for 15 hours but a duty day for a truck driver can be 15 hours so there’s no kind of lifestyle to exercise or see your family, your friends or socialise. “The lifestyle and the way the truck drivers are treated at regional distribution centres; we’re not allowed to even go into the canteen in some places.

“We rely on truck drivers to bring goods to our houses and I think it’s time that society realised this an appreciated how essential they are. “I personally wanted to challenge the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to come out on the road with me, in a truck, for a week to experience first-hand the long hours, lack of facilities and general poor lifestyle that a truck driver has to put up with; the whole industry needs a massive shake-up!” Late on Monday night, the government confirmed the army has now been put on standby.

Ministers said up to 150 soldiers were being trained up to help deliver fuel, IF needed. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our armed forces stand ready to alleviate the transport pressures where they are felt most. “That is why I have authorised their increased preparedness so they are ready to respond if needed”.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who issued the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities request, added: “While the fuel industry expects demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, it’s right that we take this sensible, precautionary step. “The UK continues to have strong supplies of fuel, however we are aware of supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease these as a matter of priority. “If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel”.

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