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It was a pleasure to return to Chippenham Pit Stop to present the Managing Director David Hatherell with the Truckstop of the Year trophy. It is a wholly worthy winner.

If you want to nominate a truckstop for the 2018 award, see page 2 for all the details, the deadline for entries has been extended.

At the presentation, David’s speech struck a few chords with me, and you can read what he said on pages 6/7 of this issue.

A few things positively screamed out at me. David said: “Contrary to popular opinion, truck drivers are normal human beings. They worry the same as everyone, like a clean bathroom the same and are discerning consumers the same.”

He also highlighted that it is time for the road haulage industry to take back control. These words especially back up something I have been banging on about to anyone who will listen to me for many years: “Road hauliers and drivers should be respected for doing an amazing job in difficult conditions. They aren’t a nuisance, they are our knights of the road bringing us everything we eat, wear, use, do, make, mend, sell and deliver.”

And something I have repeatedly said, was echoed un his comments, namely: “Truck drivers are every bit as important as doctors and nurses who seem to have special status in our press and politics!”

That is so true! Our society functions on three cornerstones – good education, good health, and good transport. Without any one of these three things, the whole fabric of our society collapses.

Yet still the public does not give transport the recognition it deserves. Because road haulage is such a deregulated industry, people don’t respect it enough. Partly that is because some perceive they can – theoretically – do transport themselves. The truth is they can’t and the transport the population wants, and needs, simply cannot be delivered without trucks and truck drivers.

So it really is time truck drivers were held in the same esteem by the British Public as nurses, doctors, surgeons and teachers. If our drivers downed tools, how long would it be before we suffered? One day? Two? Maybe three… by a week, the nation might finally wake up to the fact, without truck drivers they have NOTHING.

Now is the time for truck drivers to be proud of the job they do, the service they provide and now is the time to stand up to those who treat drivers like the ‘scum of the earth’.