Work with driv­ers to solve prob­lems

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

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

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