Truckers Fear There'll Be Nowhere to Go as Brexit Jams Loom
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. plans to corral thousands of trucks in southeast England if there are customs delays after Brexit, even testing them with a dress rehearsal at a disused airfield last month.
But drivers aren’t impressed, because it turns out something pretty basic has been overlooked. As they wait for their chance to cross the sea to France, where will they go when nature calls?
“There’s a lot of talk about the amount of lorries that may or may not be backlogged, but no mention at all that every single one of those lorries will have a driver,” said Adrian Jones, national officer for drivers at Unite, the U.K.’s largest labor union. “Drivers are pretty flexible and put up with a lot, but at the very least there should be access to clean and functioning toilets.”
Britain is at risk of leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29, which the government has said could trigger huge tailbacks as goods and containers are checked at customs.
Unite, which represents 100,000 drivers across the U.K., has not been consulted by the government about their needs, Jones said. Officials are also concerned there could be accidents if drivers are not given proper facilities to eat and rest.
He also warned that portable toilets, most often used at music festivals but which line the M20 motorway when authorities manage traffic backlogs to the port of Dover, would be unacceptable.
“They’re a makeshift solution for an unforeseen event,” Jones said. “The government has had two years to plan for this and has done nothing to consider the drivers.”
The Department for Transport didn’t immediately provide a comment when asked about Unite’s claims.
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