FTA, one of the UK’s biggest business groups, is urging the government to follow through on its promise made two years ago to provide safe parking spaces for HGV drivers. Two years after the government pledge, FTA’s members report that provision has not improved, and many are forced to take their rest breaks in unsafe locations without access to 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; they are working tirelessly, and bravely, to provide the goods the nation needs to get through the pandemic. 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. No other industry would be expected to operate in such conditions; the government has no excuse not to deliver on its promises.”
Almost 1,500 additional parking spaces required
The Department for Transport’s National Survey of Lorry Parking identified 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.
The FTA report that drivers are forced to take their rest periods in unsafe, undesirable locations, such as industrial estates, in laybys or on public roads. Chris Yarsley continues: “In an industry where you are compelled by law to take regular breaks and rest, adequate provision to do so must be provided. Two years on from the commitment made by ex-Road Minister, Jesse Norman MP, we need action – the nation’s HGV drivers deserve so much more.”
FTA represents logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to the UK.