17.11.2021 | Haulage

Better Breaks, Safer Stops campaign gains traction

100th sign up as The Swain Group pledges its support. 

With the logistics industry’s latest initiative supporting better welfare facilities for its drivers – the ‘Better Breaks, Safer Stops’ campaign now has over 100 companies, and organisations signed up and pledging their support.

Officially launched at October’s Multimodal exhibition 2021, Steve Jones of Goldstar Transport, the initiators of the scheme, says: “Our launch at Multimodal resulted in a steady stream of sign-ups, and since then we’ve had over 75 additional organisations get in touch keen to support the initiative.”

The ongoing lack of safe and appropriate rest stops for drivers is exemplified by the Orwell Crossing closure on the A14 near Felixstowe. Steve continues: “Rather than ‘Better Breaks, Safer Stops’ being a Goldstar led initiative, we want the whole industry, from its giants to its SMEs and suppliers, to get behind the campaign and work as one. This year alone, here at Goldstar, we’ve experienced close to 80 attempted break-ins of our trucks when our drivers are parked up. These figures confirm this is a genuine issue affecting the whole sector. We hope is to sit down with government and develop a plan to improve standards for existing HGV parking and rest facilities, as well as secure a commitment for new secure driver dedicated areas.”

Matthew Deer, group managing director of The Swain Group, continues: “During recent Multimodal panel discussions for road freight, I also addressed the need for better parking and welfare facilities. We know it can be done with the right amount of focus and support from government. The facilities in Ashford, Kent, preparing for Brexit customs clearance, are an excellent example of facilities that are secure, modern, clean and built quickly to a high standard. In my view, we need more like this standard to attract and keep drivers.”

With VARTAN Consultancy, Fargo Systems, and logistics website, Porttalk, already guaranteeing their support, the Felixstowe-based companies are working with Goldstar Transport to get the initiative off the ground.

Steve Collins of Fargo Systems says: “As a company that delivers digital technology to help the sector to thrive, we’re equally keen to ensure that those working in the industry have the best possible experience. As a given, drivers should have access to the facilities they require to enable them to do the best job possible.”

Miles Vartan, founder of VARTAN consultancy, continues: “To be the well-oiled machine that it is, the logistics industry requires the regulatory compliance of its drivers. But whilst they’re doing their bit and jumping through hoops to work within the regulations, they have to find safe places to park up overnight and access limited rest facilities. Other sectors wouldn’t expect to be treated in such a manner, and neither should our drivers.”

Paula Bennet of Porttalk adds: “As a news platform for the logistics sector in the region, we’re committed to promoting and supporting this initiative.

“Government needs to work with the sector to make the role of HGV driver an attractive career choice for women and men. Providing sufficient rest areas so that drivers don’t have to urinate in a bottle due to lack of facilities is a good starting point.”

If you’re interested in registering your support for the scheme, contact Steve Jones at Goldstar Transport on 01394 600523 ex 2030 steve.jones@goldstartransport.co.uk or click here.