Parking your truck overnight

The Department for Transport have now published the national survey of lorry parking for 2017. It reported that there is ‘an identified need’ for more than 1,400 new parking spaces in critical areas of the country. One of the six critical areas listed is the South West. 4509 parking spaces were visited in England which included 311 lorry parks and motorway services. The national capacity shown spaces for just over 15,000 lorries. However 39% of all vehicles counted were recorded as having been parked off-site, largely in laybys or industrial estates. The survey has shown an increase in overnight parking by 36% between 2010 to 2017. To compare this figure trucks stop in motorway services had risen by only 14%. Almost all lorry parks within the Essex and Kent counties were recognised as ‘critical levels of utilisation’. There is still a shortage of lorry drivers and one of the reasons for this is the negative public perception of the industry, drivers feeling undervalued and underpaid. Surely providing professional drivers with suitable wash and food facilities is a must. If that is the standard expected then drivers should not be expected to try and sleep overnight in laybys.

£16.60 is the average cost for overnight parking and many drivers would prefer to supplement their salary with a ‘tax free’ night out payment from their employer and spend the night off-site for ‘free’.

A statement from Jesse Norman last month was that an additional 1000 spaces is in the pipeline. Let’s hope the pipe line is not to long!

Years of no action and growth of spaces and better facilities is catching us up, to enhance the drivers basic needs these spaces and more are needed. We need to encourage potential new drivers into the industry and this is one key area that will help if provided.

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