33 Comments

  1. MiC
    September 13, 2021

    Public sector land?

    Well, the school playing fields have mostly gone.

    Maybe the MOD can help?

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      September 13, 2021

      Search “Scandal of playing fields that Labour didn’t save”
      In the Guardian MiC

      Reply
      1. hefner
        September 14, 2021

        Unfortunately it is a fact that dotations to schools were/have been/are inadequate and that many school boards of management, often made of parents dedicated to their children’s schools, were not given much choice when a developer nearby put pressure to build more houses in the vicinity or when a nursery school had to be built on the original primary school grounds because of lack of other space.

        My children went to such a primary school in Lower Earley, Reading that saw 20% of its grounds taken after some years by the addition of a nursery school. As such a nursery school was obviously a very welcome addition to the overall facilities, nobody really complained but it had amputated the recreation space of the older primary school children.

        Obviously it could be said that it was because of the Labour government (as some have said above) but alternatively that could also be put to the debit of the Wokingham District Council (with its Conservative majority in place since times immemorial), which had not properly accounted for the possibility of such nursery schools when the original plan for development of the Lower Earley area had been established at the end of the 70s-beginning of the 80s.

        Just a question of how biased one is.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          September 15, 2021

          You give one example and it is an example that doesn’t fit MiCs claim, which he has made several times before, that playing fields were all sold off by Conservatives to greedy property developers.
          A claim which I showed was not correct.
          Your example is a rather good in that a needed new nursery school was built on a small proportion of the total available land.
          Did it really ruin the ability of pupils to play on the remaining 80% of the land?

          Reply
    2. Mike Wilson
      September 13, 2021

      @MiCk

      Indeed. 200 school playing fields have been sold since 2010. As there are only 210 schools in the country your statement that ‘school playing fields are mostly gone’ is absolutely on the money.

      Reply
      1. Peter
        September 14, 2021

        except there are over 24000!

        Reply
  2. X-Tory
    September 13, 2021

    I don’t doubt that lorry park facilities could do with improvement, but the much more important points are the shortage of tests (which the government is slightly alleviating), the stupid IR35 rules, the ridiculous restrictions on drivers’ hours, and the need for the government to offer an interest-free grant to pay for training.

    Reply
    1. Dave Andrews
      September 13, 2021

      It needs more than an interest free grant. The companies paying for training need to be able to deduct the cost from their tax bill. The same with all training. Otherwise any company doing the training will find their drivers poached by companies that save on the training bill.

      Reply
      1. alan jutson
        September 14, 2021

        Dave
        Sums it up in one, same with the training of anyone, its an expensive and time consuming business if done properly.

        Reply
        1. X-Tory
          September 14, 2021

          Many lorry drivers are self-employed, and so pay for the training themselves.

          As for companies that offer training to their employees, they should make it clear in the contract of employment that if the employee leaves within 2 years (or so) of the training then they have to repay the company the cost of that training.

          Reply
    2. Mike Wilson
      September 13, 2021

      You want unrestricted driving hours for people driving 40 ton trucks. No thanks.

      Reply
      1. X-Tory
        September 13, 2021

        You seem to be one of those hysterical and deceitful extremists who try to distort everything anyone says as soon as they put forward any proposal you do not agree with. I NEVER said that I wanted unrestricted driving hours for truck drivers. Your statement is a LIE. I merely said that the current restrictions were ridiculous. In other words I obviously want drivers to be able to work longer hours, but not for there to be no restrictions at all. Are you really incapable of understanding a request for a moderate and reasonable change, without overreacting so absurdly?

        Reply
        1. hefner
          September 14, 2021

          Sorry, X-Tory but your ‘ridiculous restrictions on drivers’ hours’ was the source of such misunderstanding. AETR, EU and GB drivers’ hours (as detailed on gov.uk) do not look particularly ridiculous to me: not more than 10 hours a day in two 4h30 periods separated by rests totalling at least 45 mn, with one of 30 mn.

          I wonder how many people are able to give their attention to a particular task like driving for 4 hours and 30 minutes in a row.

          Reply
        2. Mike Wilson
          September 14, 2021

          Well, you described the current restrictions on HGV drivers’ hours as ‘ridiculous’. Currently maximum driving time is 9 hours with a total of 45 minutes of breaks. Maximum driving time in any one stint is 4 and a half hours.

          I agree the restrictions are ridiculous. It should be a maximum of two hours, a fifteen minute break, two more hours, a half hour break, two more hours, another fifteen minute break, then two hours to finish.

          Your description of current restrictions as ‘ridiculous’ led me to assume that you thought they were laughable – open to ridicule – completely unnecessary. A not unreasonable response. Ask anyone sane if they want a 40 ton artic driver belting down a motorway at 70mph to have been at the wheel for longer than the current restrictions and they will say NO!

          Reply
          1. X-Tory
            September 15, 2021

            As you have given your specific proposals – ridiculous though they are – I will do the same. Six hours 30 minutes driving, followed by a 30-minute break, then three hours driving, followed by another 30-minute break, and then a final three hours. This is based on what I have frequently done and is very easy to do. Yes, I have driven cars and not trucks, but with power steering, cruise control, etc, truck driving is nowhere near as tiring nowadays as it once was. My proposals are far more sensible and reasonable than either yours or the current rules, and would go a long way to alleviating the current problems.

  3. acorn
    September 13, 2021

    Whip moderated planted back-bench question; standard ministerial glib answer. Sadly, there are a lot of “leave” voters thinking something real, not theatrical, was happening in our Punch & Judy parliament.

    Reply That is a lie. I ask my own questions and the answer was worthwhile.

    Reply
  4. Everhopeful
    September 13, 2021

    Our dream team surely?

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      September 13, 2021

      Sorry..should have gone on other vid.
      Still ..JR is so elegant and erudite.
      Puts the other shambles to shame.

      Reply
      1. rainyday
        September 14, 2021

        Don’t overdo it Mr Everhopeful the public will catch on.

        Reply
  5. Everhopeful
    September 13, 2021

    I don’t understand this.
    Where have 70;000 HGV drivers gone?

    Reply
    1. hefner
      September 14, 2021

      15,000 are said to have gone back to the EU27. Another large number of such drivers (varying between 20,000 and 40,000 depending who is reporting) now prefer to work on local deliveries, whether for the Post Office, Amazon, DPD, DHL, Hermes or the various supermarkets as the financial conditions are not so different but the constraints on a possible family life (specially for younger drivers) are much reduced.

      Also what’s the point in bringing a full lorry to Britain from continental Europe when one knows beforehand that there is little chance to have a full cargo to bring from the UK to the continent (and therefore not being fully paid for this return trip).

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        September 15, 2021

        “Little chance of a return journey” you claim hef.
        Exports of goods to the EU were above pre exit levels in May and June 2021 rising 1.2 billion to 14.2 billions.
        Source ONS.

        Reply
    2. a-tracy
      September 14, 2021

      Lots are retirees who then couldn’t be replaced by the usual 20,000 hgv new licenced drivers per month that weren’t tested for many months because the testing centres were closed and lessons were shut. Less imports with EU drivers coming in full meaning less backload empty vehicles for businesses to soak up.

      Reply
    3. Martin
      September 14, 2021

      Part of it is natural wastage. People reach retirement age, or unfortunately die in service or fall seriously ill, amongst other reasons. If a workforce is evenly spread across the age range, that be easily 2 to 3 % per annum. During lockdowns etc, firms to preserve cash were not hiring.

      Add to that hiring and training issues caused by Covid, especially where government paper-work is involved, and attempts at recruitment can take weeks and sometimes months.

      So all sorts of industries have Covid related manpower shortages.

      Then, if an industry was highly dependent on the EU open labour market of 300 million or so people, it is now operating in a smaller pool of 60 million or so people. In normal times, that would take companies time to recruit more locally or automate.

      Reply
    4. claxby pluckacre
      September 14, 2021

      The figures are manipulated, and include all hgv licence holders on the DVLA data bank…. including mechanics who only road test, celebraties who use them as personal transport..and those like myself who hate the crammed UK road system and will not drive a ‘juggernaut’ again.

      Reply
    5. Micky Taking
      September 14, 2021

      across the Channel and into a more acceptable job with a homelife and able to use a toilet instead of a plastic bottle and bag.

      Reply
  6. Mike Wilson
    September 13, 2021

    Shapps said he was looking forward to working with you to ‘identify such sites’. Given the proximity of Wokingham to the A329M and the M4, can you suggest any land that hasn’t already been covered with houses? Perhaps a giant lorry park with top notch facilities behind the Hilton or compulsorily purchase John Nike’s house and land and stick a nice lorry park on there.

    Reply Do not be so stupid. Start by looking at Reading Services on M4

    Reply
    1. hefner
      September 14, 2021

      MW, A huge DHL depot was built in the last three years on Island Road next to the RE3 Smallmead Recycling Centre near the A33 in Reading. An easy access to the M4 (exit 11) is within two miles. And there is still some available space around between Green Park, Madejski Stadium, Island Road, the Kennet river and the train line.

      Reply
    2. a-tracy
      September 14, 2021

      Driver’s especially self-employed and foreign drivers (who don’t get overnight allowances) avoid lorry parks because of the cost, they prefer to save the money and park up on business parks and industrial estates for free. They use the local bushes for toilets, we had one guy on our business park openly relieving himself against a tyre of his van in plain sight a couple of weeks ago!

      Reply
    3. Micky Taking
      September 14, 2021

      reply to reply. What is happening about the enormous Civil Engineering base on east side of M4 just beyond joining at J10? Rumour said it would be a Service Station? Ideal to have a Lorry park for say 50 lorries – one night only.

      Reply
  7. Donna
    September 14, 2021

    Good; well done. Let’s see if they do take any notice.
    Apart from the desirability of improving parking facilities for the drivers themselves, it would be a considerable benefit for the highway maintenance crews and people living in roads near the network who are plagued with HGV drivers parking up for the night in unsuitable places.

    Reply
  8. a-tracy
    September 14, 2021

    Could I suggest double usage of Council office car parks with lorries allowed to park up at night, put a shower/toilet block on pay for use if there aren’t suitable service areas nearby (if drivers are parking up on business parks near motorway service areas that aren’t used by hgv’s and with space they need interviewing to ask why they aren’t parking in the legitimate service area. Drivers often park up out of office hours and leave before office workers arrive in the morning so they’ll chance their luck on these estates.

    Reply
  9. claxby pluckacre
    September 14, 2021

    The figures are manipulated, and include all hgv licence holders on the DVLA data bank…. including mechanics who only road test, celebraties who use them as personal transport..and those like myself who hate the crammed UK road system and will not drive a ‘juggernaut’ again.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *