Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Kent

Department for Transport written question – answered on 20th July 2021.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he taking to help ensure that lorry drivers have access to adequate sanitation and rest facilities in areas of Kent after his recent decision to reject the application from Kent County Council to extend powers to prohibit lorry parking.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government has issued a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework which indicates that the need for sufficient overnight lorry parking should be considered in planning policies and decisions. Highways England is to market test a significant site under its control near Kent.

Building on a 2020 review, my Department will reinvigorate work on lorry parking with trade and driver representatives with a view to working with businesses, Highways England, and via planning to improve the quantity and quality of overnight facilities, as well as access to facilities during the day.

With regards to the Experimental Traffic Order (ETRO) that allowed a “clamp first” approach to illegal HGV parking in Kent, this was introduced to prevent the exacerbation of existing problems of inappropriate lorry parking in Kent, following the end of the transition period. The ETRO was introduced strictly for a period of 6 months and justified by Kent County Council on the grounds that there would be an increased risk of possible turn-backs of HGVs from ports. It was not intended to address longer term problems of lorry parking in Kent. The concerns around turn-backs from the border have not materialised, and so the original justification for the ETRO is no longer applicable.

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