Friday, June 24, 2011

Dedicated Truck Stops Will Improve The Lives Of Freight Haulage Drivers

UK Minister Shows Commitment to Hauliers
Shipping News Feature

UK – US - Mike Penning, the roads minister, has confirmed the UK Governments plans to permit dedicated truck stops on Britain’s major motorways. The decision has been warmly welcomed by freight representatives such as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) whose views we published over a year ago, with RHA infrastructure manager Chrys Rampley commenting today:

“His decision to allow full-service truck stops on motorways will attract the investment we need for a step-change in the availability of lorry parking on major routes, and should also lead to more comfort and security.

“This is good news for employers and their drivers. Mike Penning has delivered the most important policy development on truck stops for many years. Our concern over truck stops was one of the key points the RHA stressed to the minister when we first met him a year ago; and he made a commitment then that his department would work with us to make real progress. That work has taken place – and now we have got something to show for it.”

Mr Penning said he believed his decision underlined the Government's commitment to improving road safety and would create an environment that encourages the development of roadside rest facilities on motorways that cater specifically for the needs of the haulage industry and thereby improve working conditions for heavy goods vehicle drivers.

Truck rest stops are an issue for the worldwide haulage community and many US states are also now addressing the problem, particularly in light of campaigns like those which led to ‘Jason’s Law’ after a driver was senselessly murdered for $7 after being forced to park unsuitably.

In the UK it is becoming increasingly common to see overseas drivers parking dangerously and illegally on the hard shoulder of motorways when caught in serious tailbacks. This enables them to disable their tachographs and not exceed their legal hours of service but puts other road users at risk and causes immense problems for emergency vehicles attempting to attend incidents.