Women truckers club grows

A FORMER female truck driver who launched a club for fellow lady truckers is seeing her organisation grow from strength to strength.

Elizabeth Waters, of Billinghay, launched Lady Truck Drivers UK with co-founder Wendy Priestley two years ago and is now the secretary/treasurer.

Elizabeth used to drive a Scania to Portugal taking wool and bringing back carpets, before retiring in 2000. Roughly two per cent of truck drivers in the UK are women. She said: “Starting the club was something I always wanted to do from when I stopped driving a truck.”

She met Wendy at Peterborough Truckfest and they decided to start their own, non-profit-making club, for which Elizabeth also edits the quarterly magazine. After a recruitment drive their membership grew from three to 70 and they now have members all over the UK.

Things have been going very well, forging links with other clubs around the world. She visited and spoke to the 400 members of a French group - Route Au Femine - for their annual dinner at Easter. They have links with clubs in Finland, Sweden (Queen of the Road), Slovenia (Kitty Truckers), Italy (Buona Strada) and she even stumbled upon a group in South Africa while on holiday.

The annual barbecue meeting for members is held at Truckfest. She said: “It is a social thing where we keep in touch with each other on the road and bring up issues like truck stops with women’s facilities and places to park that are safe. Most driver showering facilities are only for men and if you use the regular ladies’ toilets you look like a tramp, so there is a campaign to make improvements.

“I want to portray women truck drivers as professionals.”

Any women truck drivers wanting to join should go to www.ladytruckdriversuk.com