The Freight Transport Association says that the freight industry has been let down by the lack of a national policy for lorry parking. FTA says that the Government must ensure that there is a better understanding of freight needs, on a national basis, and must provide encouragement to local planning authorities to make adequate provision for lorry parking where there is a demonstrable need.
FTA was reacting to the publication of the Department for Transport document 'Policy on service areas and other roadside facilities on motorways and all-purpose trunk roads in England'.
FTA is pleased that the document takes up suggestions which the Association made that the Highways Agency should have the ability to influence the provision of roadside facilities on the strategic road network, both as a statutory consultee in the local planning system and by input into the review of Regional Spatial Strategies.
FTA also welcomes the publication's advice regarding minimum parking space requirements for HGVs, requirements for abnormal loads, signage on motorways and the provision of adequate facilities for drivers, including showers and toilets, food and drink.
However, at present there is a substantial shortage of lorry parking facilities which the guidance does little to address. FTA's Head of Road Network Management Policy, Malcolm Bingham said, 'The transport industry requires a network of truckstop facilities sufficient to provide adequate rest and refreshment for drivers needing to take their statutory breaks, together with overnight security for the driver and load.
'The whole UK economy is delivered by the transport industry and lorry drivers, and yet they are expected to scuttle about seeking locations, sometimes inappropriate, to take their breaks and overnight stops. Sadly the new policy document fails to grasp the problem.
'The opportunity to influence regional planners may reduce the very local effect of 'not in my back yard' planning decisions, but there is clearly a long way to go.'
The Department for Transport document is available at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/network/policy/roadfacilitiespolicy.pdf
The Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. FTA's website can be found at www.fta.co.uk