Man who has never driven HGV ‘very surprised’ after letter inviting him to help UK government with haulage

A German man, who has never been behind the wheel of an HGV before, was “very surprised” to receive a letter from the government asking him to “consider returning” to the sector to help out in the fuel crisis.

Thousands of Germans living in the UK have received letters from the Government asking them to drive lorries to help ease the fuel crisis (C) Sky News Screen Grab Thousands of Germans living in the UK have received letters from the Government asking them to drive lorries to help ease the fuel crisis

Christoph is among thousands of Germans living in the UK who have received such letters from the government asking them to drive HGVs to help ease the fuel crisis. It is understood Germans who had driving licences issued before 1999, which allow them to drive medium-sized lorries of up to 7.5 tonnes, will have automatically received the letter, even if they have never been behind the wheel of an HGV.

The letter, signed by transport minister Baroness Vere, asks its recipients to 'consider returning' to the HGV driving sector (C) Sky News Screen Grab The letter, signed by transport minister Baroness Vere, asks its recipients to ‘consider returning’ to the HGV driving sector

Christoph, who works as a head of software development in Scotland, told Sky News he had no plans to drive heavy goods vehicles adding: “I would hope for everyone else I wouldn’t need to do this.”

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The 42-year-old, originally from Leipzig, said: “I was very surprised. “It’s got a funny side to it as well because I have never driven an HGV before and I wouldn’t even consider it at this stage because of the letter either.”

Christoph, who moved to the UK in 2004, said the biggest vehicle he has ever driven is a “large van”. He continued: “[The letter] doesn’t state specifically driving licence categories but I have a special driving licence so I can drive lorries with trailers – so I fall in a special category.” However, his response to the government, he said, is: “Thank you for inviting me but I am not interested.

“Lorry driving was not really my passion in the first place, I just happened to have the licence needed to receive this letter.” One 41-year-old German man, who received the letter alongside his wife, told the Independent: “I’m sure pay and conditions for HGV drivers have improved, but ultimately I have decided to carry on in my role at an investment bank. Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker.

“My wife has never driven anything larger than a Volvo, so she is also intending to decline the exciting opportunity.” The letter, signed by transport minister Baroness Vere, promises “attractive pay rates” and “flexible” working hours. A DfT spokesperson said: “The letter was automatically sent to almost one million people with lorry licences, including a limited number of international residents who were automatically eligible.

“Anyone wishing to drive professionally faces further tests and training.”