My day job is in recruitment centres around the logistics industry. We supply drivers of all types of vehicles to companies that need them.
Historically, the run up to Christmas is always busy, but nowadays – with the new generation of must-have-it-now shoppers and websites promising next day delivery to anywhere – this time of year can become quite unbearable for those in the business of transportation; especially the drivers. Now add to this Clean Air Zones, Red Routes, Congestion Charges, width, weight, height and time restrictions for deliveries in and around our towns and cities, the spectre of VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) hiding in the shadows waiting to pounce on unsuspecting HGV drivers (who not only drive but now must take a mini university degree every five years in order to obtain and keep their CPC licence, Certificate of Professional Competence). This licence gives them the 'privilege' of keeping up with EU regulations that, if ignored, can prove costly to the driver. With all this in mind you can see why many are leaving the industry for pastures new.
If Covid taught us one thing, it was that some jobs – often viewed as unimportant – must be seen in a different light. Many of these jobs proved vital in keeping the UK going. Commercial drivers along with care workers and refuse collectors were most definitely on that list.
In the UK we struggle with overcrowded roads and underwhelming levels of driving competency but however good or bad, we all strive for the same goal of getting to our destinations safely whether for business or pleasure.
So, spare a thought this Christmas to the unsung heroes of the transport industry whose workplace is the often-dangerous UK road network. Cut 'white van man' some slack; they have probably still got 85 more parcels to deliver and it's seven o’clock at night. Better still thank them. Be it the delivery van driver or the HGV lorry driver en-route to the supermarkets enabling shelves to be fully stocked with Ferrero Rocher and mince pies. Wave to the bus and taxi drivers ferrying drunks to and from Christmas parties at all hours, and don't forget those poor souls on mopeds going out in all weathers to bring McBurgers and pizza to your front door. They should all be thanked – even hugged if appropriate. Merry Christmas all.