HGV parks have been so bad for so long you’ve probably acclimatised to the poor hygiene and sanitation facilities by now. Or at least we hope you have.
However, with hygiene more important than ever right now, there have been new calls to improve the poor standard of UK HGV parks.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) wants the UK government to finally come good on its promise made two years ago today to provide safe parking spaces for HGV drivers.
The industry body highlights how HGV drivers are “keeping goods moving throughout the pandemic and beyond” – but many are forced to take their rest breaks in unsafe locations with inadequate welfare, hygiene and sanitation facilities.
Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for Road Infrastructure at FTA, said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has brought home how vital lorry drivers are to society and the economy […] Yet the government fails to provide them with even the most basic provision: secure, safe places to park during their rest periods with access to adequate welfare, hygiene and sanitation facilities.”
Yarsley argues that no other industry is expected to operate in such poor conditions, adding that the government has “no excuse not to deliver on its promises”.
Drivers not only need better HGV parks; they need more of them.
The Department for Transport’s National Survey of Lorry Parking found that there is an immediate need for more than 1,411 parking spaces across the country, to enable drivers to take their legally mandated rest breaks without concerns for security and safety. In the South East alone, 37% more overnight parking spaces are required to meet basic demand.
As a result, divers are forced to take their rest breaks in unsafe, undesirable locations, such as industrial estates, in laybys or on public roads, Yarsley pointed out.
“In an industry where you are compelled by law to take regular breaks and rest, adequate provision to do so must be provided,” he added.
Trying to end on a positive note… What are the best HGV parks the UK has to offer?