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First class facilities: Truckstops to be upgraded with £16.5m funding

Published to the CV Show website on
09/05/2024

Truckstops across England are to invest in more parking spaces, better welfare facilities and safer rest areas after the government announced a new funding package to help operators improve their sites.

Under the plans, 38 truckstops around England will receive £6 million from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) HGV Parking and Driver Welfare grant scheme, with a further £10.5 million coming from industry, to significantly upgrade facilities for drivers.

This will include new showers and restaurants, as well as better lighting and secure fencing around rest areas so drivers can feel safer and sleep with greater peace of mind.

It will also create around 430 new parking spaces for heavy goods vehicles to free up local roads.

The government says the measures are part of its plan to grow the economy by improving working conditions for drivers, supporting new jobs in the haulage industry and attracting more people towards a career in logistics.

The scheme draws on the national survey on lorry parking, 2022, which provided evidence as to what improvements are needed and where to boost the nation’s roadside infrastructure.

Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, said: “Our lorry drivers are the backbone of a successful economy, ensuring food, goods and crucial medical supplies can get where they need to be, all over the country.

“That’s why it’s only right we leave no stone unturned when it comes to supporting our lorry drivers as part of our plan to grow the economy, and this £16.5 million in joint government and industry funding will provide them with the safe, spacious and modern facilities they deserve.”

From the Ashford International Truck Stop in Kent to Bardon Truck Park in Leicestershire and Immingham Lorry Park in Lincolnshire, the funding will be spread across England.

The announcement follows £15 million in joint government and industry funding for similar improvements announced in September last year as part of the fund’s first application window.

Declan Pang, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said: “We are delighted to see the government’s match funded grant scheme being awarded to projects which will make a tangible difference to the experiences of lorry drivers and provide much needed additional parking capacity to address the well-known shortage of spaces.

“We are pleased to see facilities operators contribute funding and commit to improving security and conditions at the sites they operate.”

Hartlepool-based Ron Perry and Son is spending more than £2m on an HGV parking facility to address the shortage of overnight parking spaces for drivers using the A19, with DfT providing match-funding

The company will begin construction on its Northbound and Southbound sites in late 2024, with the facility due to be operational in spring 2025.

Ron Perry, managing director of the company, said that with the growing demand for logistics services, it is essential for the country to address the shortage of secure overnight parking spaces for HGVs.

He added: “Our commitment to this project is twofold: addressing immediate shortages and laying the groundwork for future growth.

“By enhancing security, adding capacity, and prioritising driver welfare, we’re setting new standards in the industry. Our strategic location near regional economic centres underscores our role in supporting regional transport and haulage networks.

“We’re thrilled about this investment that will enable us to support major developments around Teesworks, the Freeport, and the new Amazon warehouse in Wynyard.

“Our expanded HGV parking facilities will play a crucial role in supporting these economic hubs.”

The latest announcement also aims to boost the decarbonisation of the haulage sector by supporting the installation of new charge points to power electric HGVs as well as encouraging truckstops to fit solar panels to make them as sustainable as possible.

Ashford International Truck Stop in Ashford has been awarded £589,681 in total, £294,841 of which is government funding, with a key improvement area identified as welfare.

However, after being acquired by BP Pulse earlier this year, the truckstop also plans to install about 20 mega-watt chargers (MCS) – 10 x 400kW and 125 x 100 kW chargers –with the first expected to be in place from 2026.

The chargers have the potential to fully charge an HGV in up to 45 minutes, enabling an onward range of 310 miles on a single charge.

The 21-acre site already offers 660 secure parking bays and convenience services for HGV drivers.

Darrell Healey, Chairman of GSE Group, of which Ashford International Truckstop is a part, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing our site evolve and serve E-trucks and to continue to explore other potential truck stop projects in the UK.”

Meanwhile, Exelby Services has been approved match funding by the DfT for two of its sites in Yorkshire: with up to £175,000 for its Coneygarth Services, near Northallerton, and £315,000 for its Whitwood Truckstop in Castleford.

At the Coneygarth site this will include building a gym extension, additional truck parking bays, improved truck park security and the introduction of a food prep kitchen to expand its hot food range.

Whitwood Truckstop will see solar panels fitted.

A statement from Exelby Services said: “We’re very grateful to the DfT and National Highways for approving match funding towards upgrading many of the HGV parking, security and driver welfare facilities across our sites.

“We have already made a great start at A19 Exelby Services (S) with the new secure 45 space truck park, toilets and showers.

“We’re halfway through renovating the toilets and showers at Exelby Services, Coneygarth, which will also see a free-to-use gym for drivers added later this summer.

“These latest funding approvals will be going towards renovating the toilets and showers at Whitwood Truckstop, as well as resurfacing the truck park, additional security and restaurant refurbishments.”

With hauliers required to take mandatory breaks and rest periods, building better roadside facilities will improve the quality of drivers’ rest and recovery, help the sector in its quest to improve driver welfare and working conditions, boost drivers’ security as well as road safety generally.

 

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