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Army ‘On Standby’ To Reduce Lorry Driver Shortage

The British Army has been put on standby to deliver supplies to supermarkets as the country faces a shortfall of HGV drivers of around 100,000.

The Sun on Sunday reports that around 2,000 personnel with HGV qualifications are believed to be on a five-day notice to help distribute food and essentials including medicine.

According to reports, the government is set to make a formal request to the military for help, and members of the Royal Logistics Corps and other regiments are expected to be called upon by the end of September.

A source told the newspaper that messages are being sent out to all Army personnel with HGV qualifications.

“They are being put on five-day standby notice for driving jobs at major distribution centres around the country. Soldiers will be put up in hotels where necessary and will be working extended hours to assist with the crisis.

“They will be involved with food distribution as well as the transportation of other essential goods and medical supplies,” they said.

The intervention will take place under Operation Rescript, part of the military’s ongoing efforts to tackle the pandemic.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) warned there was a shortage of 100,000 lorry drivers as thousands are forced to wait to take their HGV test due to a huge backlog created by the lockdown.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps temporarily increased the maximum time lorry drivers can spend on the road. However, lorry drivers have slammed the relaxation of rules as ‘stupid and dangerous’ – as critics accused the Government of relying on short-term solutions.

 

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