Women are refusing to become HGV drivers due to the lack of acceptable toilet facilities at depots and truck stocks says Transport MP.
Transport MP Claire Perry hit out against haulage companies for not having decent toilet facilities at their depots, forcing drivers to ‘relive themselves behind a bush’.
Ms Perry said the poor facilities go some way to explain why women dismiss having a career as a HGV driver, which has led to firms recruiting migrants instead.
She revealed that she had meetings with a number of haulage operators to encourage them to make the job of a HGV driver more attractive to women.
She said: ‘It has been a challenge to recruit and retain drivers. Women do not want to be long-distance drivers partly because some of the rest facilities are absolutely atrocious.’
'I have encouraged many HGV companies to realise - indeed the responsible ones do - that there is an enormous talent pool of people out there, for whom long-distance driving could be an appropriate career but who will not do it if they have to relieve themselves behind a bush at a rest stop.'
The Transport MP was speaking at a Commons debate on HGVs which heard warning that a ‘skills gap’ and a shortfall of 50,000 drivers.
She said: 'We had an influx of HGV drivers from other parts of the world and many of them returned there when the economy turned down.
'Raising the terms and conditions and working practices of many parts of the industry could attract non-traditional drivers to what is an important and growing part of the British economy.'
There is a difference of opinion to whether there is in fact a HGV driver shortage
or whether it is just a shortage of decent jobs.