What does Logistics UK make of the government’s recent decision to invest in improving truck parking facilities? [In November the Government announced that operators of truck-stops and roadside services can now bid for a portion of £52.5 million in government investment to match-fund improvements to driver facilities.]
Commercial vehicle drivers deserve access to the hygiene and rest facilities that are enjoyed by workers in other parts of the economy. We welcome the news that funding is being made available to help improve the quality and safety of the amenities already in place, and to construct new facilities to make up for the shortfall that there is at the moment. However, in order to support our key workers in the course of their daily work, now and in the years to come, more funding is going to be needed.
Will truck-stop and road service operators respond and make their own investments in facilities?
In order for investment to take place, government must review the planning process which can currently lead to significant delays in the building of many new facilities, however willing operators are to make the investment.
How does the UK compare to the rest of Europe when it comes to truck parking facilities?
Anecdotally, members have often cited Europe as better due to more central planning and some may be of better quality, but there seems to be a shortfall there too.
Will better facilities help driver recruitment to the industry?
It is in everyone’s interests for HGV driving to be an attractive and respected profession and it is vital that there are adequate facilities for drivers to take their breaks and rest periods, as required by regulations. At present, the negative images and experiences related to driver facilities are an obstacle for many people who might otherwise be interested in the logistics profession – most notably female drivers who are chronically under-represented in the profession.
Are some areas of the country better served than others when it comes to parking facilities?
The latest Lorry Parking Survey, published at the end of September, shows the provision of lorry parking at on-site facilities in England is nearly at critical level, having reached 83% utilisation level across the network, with the highest utilisation rates found in the East of England at 95%, South East at 94% and East Midlands at 92%.
The report doesn’t show where there are no facilities at all. So, there is a real lack of parking and facilities to meet demand. The Devolved Nations face similar challenges and Logistics UK has called for those governments to also address shortfalls.
Five minutes with… Kate Jennings, Policy Director, Logistics UK