UK Government funding to improve truck stops is welcome – but new facilities vital

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The UK’s  Road Haulage Association (RHA) has welcomed the British Government’s announcement that it is opening a match funding grant scheme to improve HGV driver facilities.

Truck stop and service station operators can now apply for funds from the £32.5m pot announced last year to redevelop amenities for truck and long distance van drivers such as toilets and showers.

But the Association urges ministers to go further and cut planning red tape to help developers build much-needed new truck stops.

RHA managing director, Richard Smith has welcomed the move but called on ministers to reform planning regulations to help tackle the estimated shortage of 11,000 safe and secure lorry parking spaces.

He said: “We’re pleased to see that service station operators can apply for grants to improve facilities for drivers – the standards at many truck stops are poor so it’s right that the Government has shown this commitment.

“But thousands of truckers every night are still left without safe and secure places to park.

“Simplifying planning bureaucracy would help firms develop new sites quicker, which would boost local economies and offer truckers the facilities they deserve.”

The release of the funding is a significant milestone as the RHA presses for better HGV driver facilities through its #RHAfacilities campaign.

The RHA urges the Government to reform the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). They propose that the NPPF is amended to reflect regional and national needs for lorry parking, reduce distances between facilities, and prioritise driver welfare.