Government plans to fine lorry drivers who do not have negative COVID-19 tests before travelling to Kent have been criticised by the haulage industry.
Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK said the Government had to make more testing centres available to meet UK demand from drivers and treat them as a priority.
“Logistics UK remains extremely concerned that today’s decision to provide Ministers with the means to introduce fines against HGV drivers entering Kent without a negative COVID test will place unfair costs on the individuals working hard to keep the economy stocked with the goods and services it needs,” she said.
“While we agree that tests should take place outside of Kent to reduce traffic congestion, we need absolute assurance from government that this will only be implemented when inland testing sites around the country have proven capacity to meet the demand for tests. Capacity must be increased before any change in legislation can be implemented.
“To help prevent testing delays and costs, Logistics UK is calling on government to prioritise the roll out of COVID19 vaccines to HCV drivers and other operational logistics workers to minimise the administrative burden on operators and reduce resulting delays to freight movements. It is also imperative that international hauliers based in Kent still have access to testing within the county, to prevent unnecessary detours away from the border, and that there is also capacity to test those arriving in Kent without a valid negative test.”
Logistics UK will be hosting a series of seven Van Gold Partner Webinars starting from 15 February.
The webinars – sponsored by the AA, Bott Ltd, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease, Quartix and TVL – will each be around one hour long and are free to attend.
Sharon Mitchell, Logistics UK’s Joint Head of Consulting & Standards, said, “With more than four million of them on Britain’s roads, vans have played a key role in servicing the nation throughout the pandemic, reinforcing just how vital they are to the logistics industry.
“We are thrilled to be offering these webinars, each focusing on different topics such as driver behaviour, van security and introducing an electric vehicle fleet.”