Central Bedfordshire contractor increases hourly rate and fast-tracks drivers to restore garden waste collections

The service has been suspended since July

By Clare Turner
Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:27 pm

Contractors working with Central Bedfordshire Council are offering drivers incentives to fix the ongoing problems with garden waste collections.

Increasing hourly rates and fast-tracking new drivers through its training programme are just some of the solutions to the suspension which has gone on since July.

But the council warns there isn't a "quick fix" to the problem.

Garden waste collection has been suspended in Central Beds since July

The area has been affected badly by the national shortage of LGV drivers - caused by a combination of Brexit and Covid.

And in a statement from Central Bedfordshire Council, a spokesman said: "At the present time, we anticipate the suspension continuing throughout September, unless driver availability changes. We appreciate this is not ideal and we are sorry for the disruption to the usual service.

"We are exploring all possibilities with our contractor to enable us to restart a garden waste collection service, even if it is less frequent as an interim measure.

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"We hope to be able to confirm by the end of next week when garden waste collections will resume."

The statement added: "We are also doing everything we can to recruit drivers and upskill existing staff where possible.

"Unfortunately, resolving the shortage of drivers is not a quick fix. Our ability to source qualified drivers, who are seeking employment, and agency staff has been dramatically reduced.

"Our contractor is offering increased hourly rates and fast-tracking new drivers through the training programme. However, a national backlog of driving tests and processing of driving licenses is impacting the duration of this process significantly."

If you hold an up-to-date LGV2 licence and want to apply visit here