Ashford International Truckstop

Truckstops to be upgraded with £16.5m funding

Truckstops throughout England are gearing up to enhance their offerings, thanks to a fresh injection of funds from the government. The aim is to revamp parking spaces, upgrade welfare facilities, and fortify rest areas to ensure the safety and comfort of drivers.

With the Department for Transport’s (DfT) HGV Parking and Driver Welfare grant scheme allocating £6 million to 38 truckstops, alongside an additional £10.5 million from industry partners, significant improvements are on the horizon. These enhancements encompass the installation of new showers, dining facilities, improved lighting, and the implementation of secure fencing around rest zones, fostering a safer environment for drivers to rest and rejuvenate.

Moreover, approximately 430 new parking spaces will be created for heavy goods vehicles, alleviating congestion on local roads. The government underscores that these measures are integral to its strategy of bolstering the economy by enhancing working conditions for drivers, fostering job creation in the haulage sector, and enticing more individuals to pursue careers in logistics.

Drawing insights from the 2022 national survey on lorry parking, the scheme strategically targets areas requiring improvement to bolster the nation’s roadside infrastructure.

Guy Opperman, the Roads Minister, emphasized the vital role played by lorry drivers in sustaining the economy and affirmed the government’s commitment to providing them with the requisite support and modern facilities. “Our lorry drivers are the backbone of a successful economy, ensuring food, goods and crucial medical supplies can get where they need to be, all over the country.”

The £16.5 million joint funding initiative aims to furnish drivers with safe, spacious, and contemporary amenities befitting their indispensable contributions.

Spanning from the Ashford International Truck Stop in Kent to the Bardon Truck Park in Leicestershire and Immingham Lorry Park in Lincolnshire, the funding will be dispersed across England. This announcement follows a previous allocation of £15 million towards similar improvements, announced last year.

Declan Pang, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), commended the government’s initiative, highlighting the tangible impact it would have on improving the experiences of lorry drivers and addressing the persistent shortage of parking spaces.

Additionally, private ventures like Hartlepool-based Ron Perry and Son are stepping up, investing over £2 million in an HGV parking facility to tackle the scarcity of overnight parking spaces along the A19, with matching funds from the DfT. Construction is slated to commence later this year, with completion expected by spring 2025. Ron Perry emphasized the project’s dual purpose of immediate relief and future growth, underscoring its significance in supporting regional transport networks and economic development.

The latest funding allocation also prioritizes the decarbonization of the haulage sector, with provisions for the installation of charge points for electric HGVs and the encouragement of solar panel adoption to enhance sustainability.

At Ashford International Truck Stop, plans include government-funded welfare improvements alongside BP Pulse’s investment in mega-watt chargers to accommodate E-trucks. Similarly, Exelby Services in Yorkshire is set to benefit from DfT match funding for upgrades, including gym extensions, enhanced security, and solar panel installations.

With mandatory breaks and rest periods for hauliers, the enhancement of roadside facilities is crucial for improving driver welfare, fostering a safer working environment, and enhancing road safety overall.

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