Truck drivers face significant delays at the border since Atlantic bubble opened
MONCTON, N.B. -- The opening of the Atlantic tourism bubble has led to significant delays at the provincial borders, especially for those who work in the trucking industry.
Some truck drivers say they are being held up for hours and are missing their delivery times, prompting calls for a clearly marked and enforced lane for truckers only.
“I sat on Saturday for an hour coming back into New Brunswick from Nova Scotia,” said trucker Neil Guptill, who frequently crosses the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick borders to deliver goods.
Many essential workers were caught in a traffic jam for hours when the bubble first opened last Friday, and while the lineups have eased a bit, traffic is still heavy, and truckers say it still isn’t always smooth sailing.
“Calls started coming in about the delays at the border and basically the traffic was at a complete stop for two to three hours at a time,” said Jean-Marc Picard of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association.
“There were a lot of issues people could encounter, such as running out of time on their electronic log, not getting their deliveries made on time,” said Guptill.
People in the trucking industry say part of the problem is commercial and personal vehicles are getting mixed into one lane.
“Open up a lane for us. Sure, ask us a question or two, but don’t mix in with the other cars. It just slows us down,” said trucker Dale Friesen. “All our drivers out here are on electronic logs so they can’t sit for seven hours.”
Improvements could be seen on Wednesday for truckers, who were able to bypass personal vehicle lineups coming into New Brunswick from Nova Scotia.
“They set us on the scale, take the weight, watch the weight of our loads, maybe check our permit and go,” explained truck driver Mario Bergerom.
Many in the industry say a bigger focus should have been put on commercial trucking so they could have avoided the chaos at the border in the first place.
“Five hour delays turn into a full day, turns into drivers coming in on Saturday, having to make that delivery, so not very pleasant for anybody,” said Picard.
He hopes truckers will be able to use a dedicated lane at all times so they can deliver their products without further delays.