Work with drivers to solve problems
I’m sure you are only too aware of the need for a truck park in the county. It is a problem going back many years that has stagnated for far too long. With drivers using Shepway lay-bys it also shows the desperate needs of the men and women who deliver goods to our shops across Kent and the UK.
As one of many ex-european drivers, I can tell you it is no fun driving for hours across France to be confronted by the gauntlet of illegal immigrants in Calais. When finally they get to the UK, the truck stops are full and, in desperation, drivers will park anywhere they can in order to avoid a fine for driving over hours.
In my experience, truck stops are full to capacity fairly early on in the evenings. There is also the cost to consider – many trucks stops charge £25 or more just for a nine-hour break, which hardly seems fair.
If, as you say, there are 15,000 lorries a day coming down the M20 and M2 then surely this would be a good case to use in order to build a truck park as there is so obviously a need for it. There are industrial estates all over Kent and surrounding counties. Why not cordon off some areas on these estates specifically for truck parking and charge a nominal fee to cover the cost of security.
I doubt many drivers would object to paying a small fee knowing there is a security patrol on call 24 hours.
If you can justify driving round issuing tickets, then security wouldn’t be much different.
Another point you raise is the rubbish issue, which I cannot imagine is a nice thing to face at all. As a suggestion, why can’t more bins be put in lay-bys or industrial estates? It is quite rare to find one at all nowadays.
So instead of concentrating on how to ban and fine drivers, why not try to work with them? Inform the locals of the desperate need for parking and how the trucks deliver pretty much everything in their homes.
How these drivers have to battle through Calais and work within ridiculously unforgiving hours of service rules, all to get your food on a plate and Christmas shopping on the shelves. Break away from the bash the lorry brigade and be innovative in your thinking.
I hope you can work with us and see the desperate situation we are in. Giles Tufton Worcestershire