In response to yesterdays announcement by KCC for multiple lorry parks across our motorway networks, SOS Kent have issued the following statement:
SOS Kent agrees that we need more overnight lorry parking, but not just here in Shepway. It is needed all over Kent and indeed, beyond. We have been campaigning for smaller lorry parks across the whole road network in the South East as just one of the ‘smarter solutions’ to any rare need for Op Stack, than destroying 250 acres of countryside.
Properly managed, these multiple smaller lorry parking areas will not only help with Stack, but greatly help the daily/nightly problem of overnight lorry parking. So this announcement from KCC sounds encouraging and we look forward to hearing more detail.
We understand that plans to extend existing and develop smaller new lorry parks in the area have all been put on hold pending the outcome of the monster (3,600) lorry park proposed by Highways England. But with a judicial review pending, that could take months or years. Meanwhile, EVERY NIGHT trucks are being allowed to park dangerously, often chewing up verges, dumping rubbish and human excrement, refrigerated units keeping local residents awake and generally causing a nuisance and damaging the environment.
Having more overnight lorry parking spaces is one thing – and would be fine if they were to be used. Whilst the lorry parks do often fill up, HGVs (usually foreign) can still be seen parked on motorways and illegally elsewhere, even when there is still space in lorry parks nearby. They simply DO NOT WANT TO PAY TO PARK. Also, HGV drivers often want to park as close as possible to their Channel crossing point. So there is clearly the need to clamp down on illegally parked lorries right now. Urgent discussions and decisions need to be made about if, when, where and for how long lorries can be permitted to park in ‘legal’ free parking spaces such as lay-bys and residential streets.
The government could better use their £250m allocated for the proposed monster lorry park at Stanford by:
contributing to private developments to create 3000+ lorry spaces in smaller parks across the South East
Developing and installing smart IT to inform and coordinate lorry parking (overnight and for Op Stack)
upgrading the A2/M2
investing in freight by rail
Let’s hope the lorry parking penny is finally dropping at KCC. It is never too late for them, SDC and our own MP to start doing the right thing.
SOS Kent, Stanford.