Large Logistics Parks (Transport Infrastructure)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:07 am on 7th December 2016.

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Photo of Amanda Milling Amanda Milling Conservative, Cannock Chase 11:07 am, 7th December 2016

I am very grateful to the Minister. As I said, I congratulate my hon. Friend Alberto Costa on raising the issue and calling for this debate. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone.

My constituency, Cannock Chase, is home to several large logistic parks, largely because of the constituency’s proximity to motorways, rail and the trunk road network. For instance, Kingswood Lake business park in Cannock is home to logistics businesses such as APC Overnight. Given its proximity to the M6 and the M6 toll road, Cannock and the surrounding area is increasingly being considered for other large logistics centres. However, the issues that my hon. Friend highlighted can be illustrated by some of the issues faced by residents and businesses in Rugeley.

In contrast to Cannock, Rugeley is not within a mile of the motorway network but, as I mentioned, it is home to one of Amazon’s fulfilment centres. The site was initially developed speculatively, with Amazon identifying it as an ideal site in the midlands to home one of its fulfilment centres. The site and the town do not have the facilities, however, to cope with large volumes of HGVs, often only having a small turnaround time window at the Amazon site. Specifically, there is no lorry parking locally and no facilities for drivers to use. The consequences, as I have mentioned in previous debates, is HGV fly-parking.

Residents of Rugeley, particularly those of Leathermill Lane, Love Lane and local businesses based in Towers business park on Wheelhouse Road, are plagued by lorries parked up overnight that are probably best described as being littered around the streets of Rugeley. Not only is this an inconvenience to road and footpath users; it creates a safety issue on those roads. Even worse, residents and businesses have to put up with the litter that the drivers leave behind. I will not elaborate; I leave it to hon. Members’ imaginations to work out what that litter includes. I have been in regular contact with Staffordshire County Council and the local police to call on them to take action to address those issues. I met Amazon earlier this week to raise the issue directly. This symptom highlights the need to consider transport infrastructure when developing plans for logistics parks.