East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald has backed the Road Haulage Association’s (RHA) demands for action to improve conditions in the industry.

The politician joined the organisation at a National Lorry Week event to recognise the importance of the logistics sector and learn more about the issues it faces in the wake of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the shortage of qualified HGV drivers in the UK, the RHA, which is the UK’s only trade association dedicated to road transport operators, says there has never been a more challenging time for the haulage industry.

It is urging the UK Government to act urgently and decisively in the run up to Christmas to prevent further damage to businesses and livelihoods, as well as the UK’s integrated and finely-balanced supply chains.

Part of Ms Oswald’s call is for better facilities, additional parking for HGV drivers and action to quickly resolve the crisis.

The MP told the Barrhead News: “I am pleased to show my support for HGV drivers and road haulage firms during National Lorry Week. The recent crisis has demonstrated just how we rely upon them to keep the country running.

“Driving tests simply ground to a halt during the pandemic and the hard Brexit saw many EU citizens lost to the industry and EU-based drivers reluctant to face the chaos at the border.

“As the crisis continues to develop, for the Department (for Transport) to shirk their responsibility for helping solve the driver shortage and to describe it as a commercial matter for drivers and employers shows just how out of touch they are.

“The UK Government needs to get a grip on this crisis and meet the road haulage industry, training providers and trade unions to step up action to tackle the immediate shortage, but also to make the industry more attractive to a wider range of potential drivers.”