- 24 May 2019
- Transport / Logistics Services
A survey by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) of logistics drivers suggests that there are fewer secure designated rest and service parking spaces for lorries in the UK than 12 months ago. This is despite roads minister Jesse Norman making promises to improve such provision on the strategic road network. The FTA is calling on him to keep his promises.
Highways England has been looking for new potential sites for rest and service areas for commercial drivers, supported by the FTA. The FTA however believes this is not happening quickly enough, and has written to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government twice to no reply.
“Logistics is the beating heart of the nation’s economy,” says Elizabeth de Jong, Director of UK Policy at FTA, “In an industry where you are compelled by law to take regular breaks and rest, it is vital that government is pressing forward with its stated intention to improve and expand the provision of facilities for those charged with keeping Britain trading. No other industry would be expected to operate in such conditions, and it is now down to government to deliver on its promises.”
The FTA survey showed that nearly all respondents believed there had been no improvement at all while half felt the situation had become worse. Over 70% felt that the lack of available spaces for parking is the biggest issue facing them during their working day – a shortage which often causes friction with local residents and businesses when drivers are forced to stop away from secure parking areas.
“No logistics operator wants to be parking on industrial estates, in laybys or on public roads,” continues Ms de Jong, “but often this is the only option as a result of no available alternative parking. London and the South East were the two areas identified as having the biggest shortfall in spaces, but the problem is prevalent nationwide. We want government to deliver its promises to professional drivers to provide the sort of safe, secure and appropriate rest areas which the industry needs so that we can continue to deliver what the nation needs, as and when necessary. A year on from Mr Norman’s commitment, it is now time for action – the nation’s HGV drivers deserve a break.”