Motorway services so bad that desperate lorry drivers forced to ‘poo in bags’

A British HGV driver says the shortage comes from the fact that "people don't want to do it" because of long hours, low pay and terrible conditions that mean drivers sometimes have to "poo in a plastic bag."

Tim Baldwin has been a driver for 13 years and thinks the shortage of drivers the UK is currently experiencing has been "bubbling away" for some time.

The 51-year-old said a combination of factors means that people just don't want to do the job anymore, as reported by Essex Live.

Tim, from Southend, Essex, said: "You work 13-15 hours a day – that's working not driving," he said. "People don't want to do it.

"Combined with getting your licenses and that younger generation, they don't think of becoming a driver.

"With lorry drivers – those of us that stick it out – we are a load of cantankerous old gits."

For his efforts, Tim will bring home in the region of £700 to £1,000.

And the long days are not the only factor that Tim thinks contribute to the shortage of drivers. The working conditions often means that, when nature calls, he and other drivers have to answer in the most degrading of fashion.

"I have had it when you are in the lay-by side on the side of the road, parked up, there is no toilet and it's the middle of night," he said.

"You don't want to get out the cab so you pee in a bottle or if you get caught really short and are really desperate for a s**t you have to improvise.

"Get a carrier bag, line it with newspapers, squat over it and do what you need to do."

Tim added: "If you have got a three-hour run and are stuck in traffic on M25 and you think I'm going to p**s myself, then you pull over onto the hard shoulder and do what you have to do."

Industry experts have said that the lack of lorry parks with facilities such as hot food and showers is a "major obstacle" to attracting new truckers, according to The Telegraph.

According to that publication, a senior government source revealed that improved facilities are being considered in a ploy to lure new drivers, and coax back drivers with HGV licenses that are currently not driving.

Tim described the current state of the facilities. He said: "A great big depot will have a shower and toilet facilities that are good.

"But invariably on the motorway, services aren't the cleanest," he said.

"They ain't the cleanest, they can be pretty mouldy as they are usually inside the building. I remember going into one getting up 4am to go to have shower and it was mess of used condoms all over the floor.

"You think f**k me, I've got to dodge those."

He added: "With a shower, you can't control the the temperature.

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"If you're lucky, you might get one of those plastic griddle mats so you are not getting dressed in a puddle of water.

"Some are better than others – I have been to some that are really good and have high water pressure or others are a dingy shower that dribbles out.

"You think, it'll take me about half hour to wash the soap suds off my head."

Last week, the government promised more support to help people to become HGV drivers as well as a package of measures to try and ease the risk of shortages.

The plans include up to 4,000 people being trained as new HGV drivers, using MOD examiners to help increase immediate HGV testing capacity by thousands over the next 12 weeks and nearly 1 million letters sent to drivers already with a HGV driving licence, encouraging them back into the industry.

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