A leaked government document warns that the UK could soon see queues of 7,000 trucks in Kent with HGV drivers waiting two days to reach the border.
The post-Brexit document lays the blame firmly at the feet of the hauliers, claiming that regardless of whether a trade deal with the EU is reached or not, their lack of preparation could cause major delays and chaos on the UK’s roads.
Unsurprisingly, this has annoyed the industry, with the RHA hitting back blaming the government for any potential disruption.
The report, detailing a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’, was put together by the Border and Protocol Delivery Group. Unite have called for the leaked document to be released in full.
It predicts that between 30%-60% of lorries carrying freight are not yet ready for the transition period. The result – according to the report – would be gridlock to all routes leading to the cross-Channel ports.
The report, which was leaked to the Guardian, states: “At 30% levels it is estimated that a maximum of 6,500 HGVs may develop in January.”
It continues: “Considering demand levels in the first week of February it is estimated that if readiness is not improved by then queues could reach a length of 7,000 HGVs.
“In each case it is estimated the HGVs could take two days to reach the front of the queue.”
The report also forecasts that traffic coming into the UK will also be impacted “to a similar degree”.
Rod McKenzie, MD of policy at the RHA said that unprepared haulage companies are not the problem.
He said: “It is clearly not the fault of logistics operators when the government has failed to make clear what they have to do. Government communications have not been clear or complete.”
He pointed out that despite the government knowing it needs 50,000 agents to process the 200 million customs forms generated by Brexit each year, only 5,000 have been recruited.
That alone has got unnecessary traffic queues written all over it…