Grant Shapps ‘ruling nothing out’ including military help to deal with HGV shortage

Grant Shapps ‘ruling nothing out’ to resolve HGV shortage

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has hinted that the military might step in to help resolve the issue of driver shortages, saying he is “ruling nothing out”.  A small number of petrol station have been forced to close due to lorry driver shortages, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Grant Shapps said: “With regard to things like whether there’s a role for the military, obviously.

 “If there is if that can actually help, we’ll bring them in.

“But there’ll be technicalities to do with whether they’re able to immediately switch over to the commercial truck and so on and so forth.

“There could be other roles for them including for example, the driver testing or training.”

He added: “But I’m ruling nothing out.

“We’re looking at lots of different and working on lots of different projects.

“I’ll say more about those in the future.” 

The closure of some petrol stations has prompted a row over lorry driver shortages in the UK. 

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has urged the government to relax visa restrictions for foreign workers in the short term to ease the driver shortage.

But Mr Shapps told the BBC he did not want UK lorry drivers to “drop out” because of being “undercut” by cheaper EU labour.

Grant Shapps previously told Sky news: “As of last night, five petrol stations on the BP network out of 1,200 or 1,300 were affected.

“I’m meeting this morning with Tesco and I’m sure they’ll give me the update.

None of the other retailers said they had any closures.”

He added: “The others – Asda, Morrisons and other supermarkets – are saying they have no problems, as have other petrol companies.”
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