BACK in the 1960s and 70s, we used to call lorry drivers ‘Kings of the Road’. It was a well-paid, experienced job that most envied and respected as much as our military today.

Since the 80s, all key jobs became devalued as it became far cheaper to employ already trained people from abroad. Over the many decades, UK relied on cheap foreign labour which in turn severely diminished the respect and importance of our now seemingly (since Brexit) truly skilled workers for which we now find ourselves in a shortage crisis.

Lorry drivers alone are the backbone of our nation: everything in our home came to us via a lorry yet our nation and many people have lost all respect for them: they moan if they are in front and just have to overtake no matter the risks. Employers, now mostly agencies, not only offer unfair wages but also demand ridiculous hours and conditions. A lorry driver has a most skilled, responsible and much needed job. They set off whilst most of us sleep. They are still working or sleeping in some layby whilst we are comfortably watching some TV box set with our family. They live on junk food and have to pee in a bottle because there is nothing else on offer and even many garages refuse them using their toilets.

Back in the 60s and 70s, I can recall an abundance of transport cafes which were even popular with other drivers. I can remember ‘lorry parks’ that had all amenities such as toilets, showers, canteens, shops, a bed and even a social club where entertainment was provided. One such was off the M6 in Carlisle.

Where are they all now?

We live in a world of fast growing technology and modern lorries are not dissimilar to an aircraft cockpit: they have sat-nav, communication, cameras, tracking devices – but all for the use of the employer. Why didn’t somebody come up with a small inbuilt toilet for the driver – either in an extended cab or in the back of the wagon?

Same with motorway services that are everywhere and built on open space ground – why not annexe a lorry park with all amenities exclusive only to lorry drivers?

For a long time we have disrespected many vital workers and now being out of the EU it has come to the fore.

If Britain is going to move forward with the future, we must change our so unfair ways of the past!


Wellington Road, Bournemouth