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Freight, logistics and gateways

Lorry Parking Study

It has long been recognised that there are problems with lorry parking parks across the south east, the lack of facilities that drivers have when they do find a recognised place to park and the impacts this can have on local communities. The Department for Transport has undertaken several lorry parking surveys across England over the last decade, but the latest one in 2022 did not provide enough of a complete picture across the TfSE area.

To gain a better understanding of the issue in our area, TfSE commissioned a more detailed study, using a similar methodology to the DfT survey, but extended it to include the MRN and other A roads, including hearing from lorry drivers about their experiences at recognised truck stops across the area.

This study provides clear evidence that there is a shortage of lorry parking in our area that will worsen over the next 20 years, particularly around the port areas of Dover and Southampton.

The conclusion is clear: if there were to be more recognised sites, with improved facilities, that cost less to use then more lorry drivers would use them rather than informal locations such as laybys and industrial estates.

Read the full Lorry Parking Study.

A better future for freight in the South East

From cars made in the Midlands to Scotch whisky and Welsh steel, goods worth hundreds of billions are exported each year from the South East’s ports, airports and international rail connections to all four corners of the globe. These busy international gateways also support the movement of millions of people between the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Our freight, logistics and international 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. It also provides an action plan to deliver the strategy.

Our Freight, Logistics and Gateways Strategy

A full suite of additional technical documents which provide supporting evidence for the strategy can be found here.

Get involved
TfSE wants to work closely with freight and logistics partners who are active in the sector. Help us to deliver the freight strategy action plan successfully – join a relaunched TfSE Freight Forum, support our topic based interest groups or just be kept informed about progress.

Find out how to get involved.

Supporting a growing economy across the UK

The South East is the UK’s window on the world, offering unparalleled reach and access to global markets.

That’s why investment in the South East is a powerful enabler for growth across the UK, supporting the money already being spent in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine to ensure those areas have strong access to supply chains and consumers across the world.

And it’s why investment in a better transport network is so important for people not just here in the South East but across the UK.

An overhead shot of an airport

Much of the freight coming in and out of the UK is processed in the “golden triangle” – an area in the Midlands with a high concentration of national distribution centres. It’s quite common for freight to arrive into the UK in the South East, be transported to the Midlands for processing, and then return to the South East for regional distribution and delivery.

This means that the road and rail routes that connect the South East to the Midlands and north of England are particularly important for freight. It also means we need to work closely with other sub-national transport bodies so that future investment is planned in a co-ordinated way across the country.

The South East contributes more to the national economy than any region outside London and is our country’s main international gateway for people and goods. That’s why we need to see increased investment in our transport infrastructure, growing the economy and creating jobs here in the South East and supporting the investment already taking place in other parts of the country.

Cllr Keith Glazier, chair of Transport for the South East

Get involved

While developing our Freight, Logistics and Gateways Strategy we created a freight strategy steering group and a freight forum, bringing together partners from across the freight and logistics sector, local authorities, national agencies and transport bodies. Together, they provided the energy, enthusiasm and investment needed to accelerate our journey towards a better connected, more productive and more sustainable future for the freight sector in our area.

Over the next twelve months we plan to relaunch this forum with dedicated, expert support to manage it. TfSE expects the freight forum to provide the oversight to make sure our strategy and action plan are taken forward and delivered. The freight forum will become a regional resource for sharing information and best practice.

We are keen to build up a list of sector partners so we can work with them in their interest areas. As we bring forward parts of the action plan, interest groups might develop into working groups to ensure we’re collaborating with the sector successfully.

We recognise that the freight and logistics sector wants to become more efficient and effective. Our strategy and action plan will enable that to happen in our region. They will offer more opportunities to engage with public sector partners such as the Department for Transport, National Highways and Network Rail, as well as local authorities. So, TfSE is well placed to bring together both the private and public sectors so we can focus together on how to deliver what’s needed.

Join the conversation

Technical documents

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