Many of the UK’s HGV drivers are deprived of the United Nations (UN) Human Right to sanitation due to the lack of toilet facilities on the national road network, according to FTA, the voice of the UK logistics sector. Speaking on the UN’s World Toilet Day (19 November 2019), FTA is renewing its calls for government to prioritise the provision of sufficient welfare facilities for professional drivers across the UK.
Elizabeth de Jong, Director of UK Policy at FTA, comments: “The logistics sector is the lifeblood of the UK economy, ensuring businesses, schools and hospitals are all stocked with the goods they need to operate. But despite the invaluable contribution HGV drivers provide to the economy, they are often denied access to very basic amenities. The inconsistent provision of toilets and other facilities for HGV drivers across the road network is not good enough; access to hygiene amenities and other welfare services are a basic right for all workers. No other industry would be expected to work without access to toilets, so why should HGV drivers?
“More than 18 months ago, the government vowed to improve and expand the provision of facilities for those charged with keeping Britain trading, but since that promise, amenities have actually become worse. Nearly all the respondents to a survey conducted by FTA of its member organisations felt there had been no improvement in the facilities for drivers on local roads, and over half of them felt that the provision had become worse over the last 12 months. In an industry where you are compelled by law to take regular breaks and rest, it is vital drivers have access to these most basic facilities.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.