The haulage industry can quickly deliver the PPE health workers need in the fight against COVID-19, said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett.
But furlough rules were preventing thousands of drivers from helping move the life-saving equipment, and urged Parliament to change the law.
His call came in response to health secretary, Matt Hancock’s remarks on BBC’s Question Time (02.04.20) that a massive logistical challenge was to blame for the delays in getting equipment such as protective masks to frontline staff.
Mr Burnett refuted the claim and said that large numbers of trucks and drivers who stopped operating since the outbreak are available to answer the call.
“Haulage professionals are only too willing to deliver vital PPE which will save lives but their hands are tied as current furlough rules would mean truckers could face financial penalties if they took on the work.
“It’s time the Government passed legislation to free up the haulage industry to deliver the equipment which will protect health workers and the patients who rely on them.”
According to a recent industry survey the RHA estimates that around 43 percent of trucks are currently off the road while 25 percent of truckers are furloughed.