THE number of foreign lorries entering and leaving the UK under a scheme introduced last year is not being monitored, a leading trade union has claimed.

Unite said ministers “panicked” last year amid the HGV driver shortage crisis, changing so-called cabotage rules to allow companies from anywhere in the world to send lorries with foreign drivers to the UK to work unlimited hours in any 14-day period.

The union said it has established through a freedom of information (FOI) request that there is no monitoring by the Department for Transport (DfT) of how many foreign companies and lorries have taken advantage of the policy, which countries they have come from, and how many have remained in the UK beyond the 14-day period. Unite said it was told that the department does not monitor the data.

Unite’s Sharon Graham said: “This is sheer incompetence by the Government, which is playing Russian roulette with British road users.

“It introduced this knee-jerk reaction to the lorry driver crisis last year; now they tell us they don’t know how many foreign lorry drivers have come, how many hours they work when they are here, and if they go home after the 14-day working period.”

A DfT spokesperson said: “The department is monitoring the overall uptake of the additional cabotage rules and early indications are that they have been successful.”