Mis­ery for res­i­dents as lorry park fills up

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Clare Mul­grew

Bid to find so­lu­tion to Or­bital Park lorry night­mare

A LACK of space on Ash­ford’s of­fi­cial lorry park is the main rea­son for the prob­lems at Or­bital Park, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial site’s man­ager.

The Truck Stop Trans­port Cafe, also known as Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Truck Stop, has been based on the A2070 off Junc­tion 10 of the M20 for 14 years.

But the ris­ing num­ber of HGVs on Kent’s roads means the site is full most of the time, mean­ing lorry driv­ers have to find al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions to park and rest.

“There’s a limit to what we can take here,” said Truck Stop gen­eral man­ager Richard Welch.

“We have ca­pac­ity for 300 ve­hi­cles and we are full most nights.

“It’s not a ques­tion now of be­ing able to pay. The ma­jor­ity re­alise they need to park up in a se­cure area and that there’s a pay­ment for that.”

Last week we re­ported how busi­nesses based on the new de­vel­op­ment at Or­bital Park were fed up with for­eign lor­ries ar­riv­ing each night.

They ac­cused the lorry driv­ers of cre­at­ing a mess and break­ing up the roads.

Mr Welch said Kent had ex­pe­ri­enced a no­tice­able rise in road haulage trans­port in re­cent years due to the Chan­nel Tun­nel and the ports.

Mr Welch added the Truck Stop was the only place in Kent with a full range of fa­cil­i­ties for lorry driv­ers.

Cru­cially, the own­ers of the lorry park are likely to sell the site off for hous­ing in the next few years.

Cllr El­iz­a­beth Tweed, chair­man of the Ash­ford Joint Trans­port Board, said: “I am very con­cerned about the con­di­tions on Or­bital Park as there is such a mess, and about on street park­ing else­where in the Ash­ford area.

The county coun­cil­lor added: “Kent County Coun­cil and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil are ac­tively look­ing for some­where else to use as a lorry park.”

Should Kent County Coun­cil and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil be do­ing more to tackle the for­eign lorry park­ing prob­lem? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, Kent TN24 8JR or e-mail ken­tish ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Truck Stop Trans­port Cafe, which res­i­dents say is too small for the num­ber of lor­ries that need to stop

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