National Lorry Week highlighted a shortfall in drivers and the need for emergency government funds to deliver driver training.
The event, which ran at the end of October, was designed to raise the profile of what organisers called ‘the nation’s essential service provider’.
A wave of media coverage followed, prompting the Road Haulage Association to declare in November that the event would be repeated in 2016.
Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, said the programme ‘really was a week to remember and clearly met our twin aims of raising the profile of our industry and getting our message across to politicians’.
A ‘critical driver shortage’ was among the topics discussed, along with the broader suggestion that the industry did an ‘incredible job’ in ‘delivering daily life’.
The industry estimates that it is between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers short. The RHA has called for a recognised LGV apprenticeship and emergency government funds to support driver training.
Mr Burnett added: “Members parked their HGVs in busy town centres, took them to schools and turned up at sporting events.
“This gave thousands of supporters a great opportunity to get up close and personal with trucks and hear about the industry first hand.”
RHA reports that the project has helped generate ‘a lot of enquiries from people keen to pursue a driving career’.