Given the current recruitment crisis affecting the British Road Haulage industry, Rebecca Rosman heads across the Channel in search of solutions. Writing in the Telegraph she discovers a marked difference between the amenities available to truck drivers in France compared to those in the UK. Hot showers, good food and congenial company may do more to attract new recruits into the industry than any amount of money:
“We’ve lost those truck stops, the caffs, so drivers aren’t able to get a proper wash,” Paul Carter of Certa Logistics:, a cold chain transport and logistics supplier, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last week.
“If you’re expecting someone to sleep in their cab and not wash, it won’t matter much money you throw at them to attract them to the industry. You won’t.”
Industry experts have said the lack of “luxury” lorry parks in Britain is the single “major obstacle” to attracting new truckers. It may be time to take a leaf out of France’s book – or, rather, cookbook.
For more than 80 years, lorry drivers across France have had access to Relais Routiers, a network of more than 1,200 restaurants serving up affordable three-course meals (wine often included), decent shower facilities and bountiful parking for the massive trucks. For many drivers, these stop-offs are also a welcome escape from the daily solitude of life on the road.
“Drivers spend their entire day alone on the motorway, but when they come in here they can be guaranteed a good meal and good conversation,” says Fatima Castilho, co-owner of Aux Routiers, a Relais Routiers 15 miles south of Paris.
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it: