truck drivers fear a new nightmare

Difficulties in accessing the toilets, washing, eating … The memory of the first trying weeks of confinement is still significant among transport professionals. This time, the new sanitary measures seem to follow the lessons of spring. Service stations can in fact remain open to allow access to showers, toilets and take-out meals. “Concerns are present but this is out of proportion with the avalanche of emails and calls in March», Observes Alexis Degouy, general delegate of the Union of transport and logistics companies of France (Union-TLF). “Business leaders tell us a great deal of concern, confirms Jean-Marc Rivera, General Delegate of the Organization of Road Transport SMEs (OTRE). We have asked the Ministry of Transport for guarantees on the working conditions of drivers on non-licensed networks (non-motorway, Editor’s note)».

Fears “legitimate», Continues the general delegate. “The first 15 days of the first confinement were hell. Everything had closed, including the gas stations. Some truckers traveled 800km without access to sanitary facilities and without eating», He recalls. “It was impossible to wash and access a toilet. I was defecating in the woods. I spent four days without washing», Says Jean-Pierre, truck driver. However, this Friday, the first day of confinement, “it was very complicated to access the showers and have lunch», Testifies Fabrice, driver too. “Apparently things should fall into place on MondayHe thinks he knows.

For the reopening of “restoroutes”

If gas stations remain open, restaurants will have to close their doors or serve take-out meals. “These establishments should remain open to allow truck drivers to exercise their profession in a decent manner. In addition, this time, the weather conditions will not be favorable for dining outside or in your truck.“, Pleads the National Federation of Road Transport (FNTR). “We adapt with take-out meals. But keeping the motorways would be a minimum. In general, we nibble at lunchtime for lack of time and dine in the evening. It’s our moment of relaxation », Says Jean-Pierre.

Especially since some restaurants also offer access to showers. In Barbentane, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Escapade will serve hot meals for lunch and dinner in its car park and, above all, will allow access to its showers. “During the first confinement, we served take-out meals for lunch, after authorization, but we were forced to prohibit access to the sanitary facilities. Humanly speaking, it was complicated for the drivers“, Say the managers of the restaurant who have set up a path”tag»To get to the toilets and showers at the entrance of the establishment. “Hydroalcoholic gel is available. Only one person can enter at a time», Specify the managers.

Initiatives hailed by several drivers but still too isolated to reassure them. “We are asked to drive, to restock, to deliver. On the other hand, we don’t eat, we don’t wash», Deplores Fabrice. “Our job is essential and yet we are often forgotten», Agrees Jean-Pierre. “The authorization of service stations is a sign of taking into account the previous difficulties, tempers Alexis Degouy. On the other hand, if the drivers have shown patience in the face of the unprecedented situation of the first confinement, this time, the degree of acceptability of degraded working conditions will be close to zero.».

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