HGV drivers across Cumbria have rejected the Government's call to arms.

After the Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, sent out a letter promising 'fantastic HGV driving opportunities', many have rejected returning to the industry.

Gordon Roberts, of Ulverston, said: "I gave up driving 25 years ago and threw the letter straight in the bin.

"The conditions back then weren't what they are now and I was working 60, 70 hour weeks.

"It's a hard job, everyone expects the shops to be full but don't understand how everything gets there."

Despite Mr Phillips' concern that working hours and rights weren't stringent enough when he was driving, Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced yesterday an extension of drivers working hours to help 'increase efficiency in supply chains'.

The current rules permit 9 hours of driving per day, to a maximum of 56 hours per week.

Others have been sharing similar stories about disposing of the letter on social media.

One comment read: "Yes, it got put straight through the shredder."

Another said: "It's in the bin, there's better jobs than that around."

This comes amid a serious driver shortage across the UK and some European countries.

A Road Haulage Association (RHA) survey of its members estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.

As of March 2021, the ONS estimates there are 16,000 fewer HGV drivers from Europe driving in this country than there was a year previously.

The Government's letter says: "We are writing to you, and all HGV driving licence holders, about the national shortage of HGV drivers. As you

are undoubtedly aware, this has been putting pressure on UK supply chains for some time. The Government

and the logistics sectors are working on a range of solutions to ease the shortage.

"If you are no longer working in this sector, we would like to take this opportunity to ask you to consider

returning. Your valuable skills and experience have never been more needed than they are now."