IRU: Drivers & Cargo at Risk: EU needs more safe and secure truck parking

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Employers, trade unions and parking operators are urging the European Commission to maintain a focused approach to certifying, upgrading, building, and funding safe and secure truck parking areas in the EU over the next three years.

In a joint letter addressed to EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the International Road transport Union (IRU) and the European Secure Parking Organisation (ESPORG) have invited the European Commission to continue its efforts co-funding safe and secure truck parking areas (SSTPAs) in Europe for the period 2025-2027.

Establishing a safe and secure parking network is a strategic response to addressing driver shortages in the EU by making the profession more appealing and viable for current and potential drivers. Safe and secure parking is essential to enhancing drivers’ well-being and ensuring that they have the support and infrastructure necessary to thrive professionally.

The three organisations advocate for further modernising and developing new, more sustainable and connected SSTPAs, which will contribute to the foundation of a genuine European network.

IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “While we are encouraged by the recent allocation of EU funding for safe and secure truck parking areas, there is a significant opportunity to expand this network across the EU.

“Road transport is the backbone of EU industries. Attracting and retaining skilled drivers is vital for the sustainability and efficiency of the sector. Ensuring minimum safety and sanitation standards in parking areas is crucial for protecting the health and well-being of professional drivers, thereby improving their working conditions and making the profession more attractive.”

“We urge Member States, regional and local authorities to prioritise our drivers’ working conditions, as well as cargo safety and security. We are optimistic that the next EU Transport Commissioner will continue to build on Commissioner Vălean’s strong support and further enhance our efforts to improve these essential facilities,” she added.

ESPORG General Manager Drik Penasse said, “We call on the European Commission to continue its co-funding efforts for SSTPAs as well as to develop a medium- and longer-term vision in partnership with key industry stakeholders.”

“These efforts should be coupled with the adaptation of the eligibility rules, including promotional and training programmes, to allow all stakeholders, particularly smaller investors, parking areas and interested road transport companies, to benefit from EU funding,” he added.

ETF Head of Land Transport Cristina Tilling said, “Safe and secure parking areas are extremely important for drivers’ well-being. Drivers need adequate rest and facilities for effective recovery, especially given the prevalent issue of driver fatigue, which poses a significant risk to road safety.”

“The European Commission’s commitment to a long-term political vision of high-standard SSTPAs will greatly contribute to improving working conditions and ensuring better safety standards,” she added.