Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that roadside bathroom and changing facilities remain open to lorry drivers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We recognise the important contribution that delivery drivers make to the nation, the economy, and business. We are reviewing urgently how motorway service areas operate during the COVID-19 related disruption. They are likely to be operating differently and we want to ensure that they continue to offer support to industry and drivers.

Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) are required by law to offer two hours free parking, which is essential to allow drivers to have breaks, and use the facilities. All MSAs in England are currently still open and we have asked MSA operators to redouble their efforts to ensure that users will be safe at facilities.

We have also recently published guidance for Transport workers on gov.uk, which is updated as new advice becomes available. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

More widely, we are working with industry on the development of a charter that outlines businesses commitment to offering hygiene and toilet facilities to delivery drivers. This includes all delivery drivers, e.g. HGV drivers, couriers, and everything in between, but crucially only focuses on business properties, not private or residential property. The charter will be for businesses to sign up to. Signing up signifies that as an employer they meet Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance and offer these facilities to their delivery drivers. This charter follows changes to HSE guidance in November 2017 to say, “Drivers must have access to welfare facilities for visiting delivery drivers” and was introduced in response to a campaign by Truckers’ Toilets.

In addition to the Charter, we have recently published a joint letter with the Health and Safety Executive on gov.uk, reminding businesses of their legal obligation to provide toilet and handwashing facilities to drivers visiting their premises as part of their work. This is available to download and print, via the following link. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887867/dft-hse-letter-drivers-facilities.pdf

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