The UK is suffering a shortage of HGV drivers. It is well publicised one of the reasons behind these shortages, is the poor conditions drivers face when it comes to roadside facilities.
This week, Roads Minister Richard Holden has announced an additional £100 million of funding to improve roadside facilities. This is in addition to the £20 million match-funding launched earlier this year from National Highways to improve roadside facilities and security for lorry drivers.
Hauliers and drivers are critical to keep our economy motoring. But for decades, our truckers have had a raw deal when it comes to decent roadside facilities.
This is why I’m so proud that our government is going to provide match funding support to the industry to boost drivers’ welfare, safeguard road safety and make sure driving an HGV is a really attractive career option by providing the facilities and respect our lorry drivers deserve.Richard Holden, Roads Minister
Being home to major air and seaport gateways, with direct freight connections to import/export locations across the world. The south east region is one of the busiest for freight movement. Our Freight, Logistics and Gateways Strategy identifies what investment is needed to better connect our region’s ports, airports and international rail links. Supporting sustainable economic growth here in the South East and across the UK.
As one of the outcomes of this strategy, we are working with AECOM to look at the scale of the lorry parking issue across the south east and how this could be addressed.
Lorry parking refers to parking and the facilities that should go alongside. Such as showers, toilets, and access to food and drink.
In some areas, inappropriate lorry parking has become associated with increased noise levels and littering. So, providing better facilities for drivers won’t just help them, it will also reduce the perceived wider impact on communities.
The lack of lorry parking, and substandard quality of facilities also contributes towards the difficulties associated with recruiting new drivers. This situation, which has come to the fore in recent years, has a major knock-on impact on supply chain efficiency.
We are really pleased to see Government investing more funding in the provision of lorry parking and driver welfare facilities.
This additional funding supports the work we’re doing to forecast future demand, identify locations and help truckstop operators access funding.
There is an urgent need to increase capacity and improve facilities at existing sites and potentially fund new ones. Enabling the freight industry in the south east and the rest of the UK to thrive.
We are confident the work we’re doing to develop a lorry parking strategy for the south east will help investment in this sector to go further.Councillor Keith Glazier, Chair of Transport for the South East
The transition to alternative fuels for freight
In addition to exploring opportunities for better lorry parking facilities, we have joined forces with England’s Economic Heartland and Transport East to get a better understanding of where facilities providing alternative fuels technologies to freight vehicles could be located.
Consultants Atkins and Cenex are undertaking this work, that will support the freight and logistics sector’s transition to alternative fuels.
They have launched a survey to understand the benefits and challenges associated with a shift to alternative fuels and technologies. The survey gathers insights from fleet operators about freight movements across the East and South East of England. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. The information collected will help us to better understand the opportunities and challenges, and inform to develop strategies and policies for the region.
We want to hear from anyone operating a business within the East and South East of England with more than one vehicle.