Inverness has just been crowned. The UK's kindest town, in a vote carried out by HGV drivers and hauliers, the first prize was a cash donation of £10,000. The Road Haulage Association came up with the idea and first launched the ballot way back in April 2023. It was designed to help HGV drivers raise awareness about the quality of facilities on offer to them as they carry out invaluable transport work across the nation.
Long Days Away from Home
Many drivers are away from home for several days during the week, and mental health has been the focus of many campaigns recently. During the pandemic, these tireless people continued to work, ensuring that we all have access to food, medical equipment, and PPE. Being treated badly when they want to stop and rest for the night causes anxiety and stress. We also know that there is a dire need to improve many roadside facilities, and the survey was also designed to raise awareness of this.
The managing director of the Road Haulage Association, Richard Smith, spoke about how the pandemic highlighted the problems faced by truckers, “It was the pandemic that really raised awareness of the industry among the public – after all, it was the truckers that kept shelves full and ensured medical staff were equipped with vital PPE. This is why I’m particularly pleased that the government has recognised the need for improved facilities for drivers and that they have agreed to match the investment made by truck stops to improve their facilities.”
Mandata Partnered with the Initiative
Their partner in the survey was the software provider Mandata, and their chief marketing officer, Sandra Pretorius, also had a lot to say about this unusual but successful initiative. “The search for the UK’s Kindest Town was all about creating awareness among the general public of the challenges faced by HGV drivers while giving drivers and hauliers the opportunity to thank what they considered to be the kindest town by giving them their vote. The volume of support received for this campaign, from truck stops to haulage businesses to social media influencers, is by far the best indication of how much the industry values its drivers, and it is our hope that our drivers know we actively stand with them to improve life on the road.”
Now that they have been crowned the most helpful and kindest location in the country by the truckers, Inverness has to decide what community project they will spend their winnings on. It seems natural that it will have something to do with the haulage industry, and they will be supported in making the decision by both the Road Haulage Association and Mandata. The second and third friendliest and kindest areas of the UK were Tamworth and Northampton, respectively. It is hoped that by raising awareness in this way, other areas will do their bit to welcome truckers and treat them with kindness and respect.