Published: 09:00, 13 September 2017 |
Updated: 10:21, 13 September 2017
Lorry drivers running the gauntlet of migrants in France need space to park and rest near Dover, said a councillor.
He said they could otherwise kill people in the South East after going non-stop through the region and becoming overtired.
District and county councillor Nigel Collor said that truckers were going straight through northern France to prevent their vehicles being broken into by migrants.
Cllr Collor spoke out after council officers proposed stopping truckers parking in certain parts of Dover.
He told a Dover joint transportation board meeting: “We have to look at the other side of the coin.
“I have friends who are lorry drivers on the Continent and they are coming from Reims non-stop to avoid picking up unwanted passengers before they get to Calais.”
Reims is 170 miles from Calais and Cllr Collor has said that when they arrive in Dover they have just 30 to 45 minutes left on their tacographs.
He said that there was a risk of truckers becoming overtired and added: “I don’t want to have on my conscience that a family is wiped out when a car is hit by a lorry because the driver has fallen asleep.”
District councillor Peter Walker said: “It’s a really serious issue. There are these problems on the Continent and we hear of them nearly every single day.
“These are problems for foreign and British lorry drivers. We need to help lorry drivers find safe parking spaces.”
Cross channel ferry operators do have specific areas for freight drivers, allowing them to rest Officers had proposed a lorry parking prohibition already on parts of Hawkesbury Street and Poulton Close in Dover, to also be brought to a section of Coombe Valley Road.
The meeting heard that Highways England is planning to build a 4,000-space lorry park at Stanford, near Hythe.
The site is half an hour’s drive from Dover.
But the scheme may not be developed for years even if it gets Department for Transport approval.
There is still a long process of consultation and recommendations ahead, and there is a judicial review planned for later this year.
Councillors were also told that the agency had recently removed lorry parking bays on the A2 at Dover.
They voted to both consult residents on the lorry parking prohibition controls at Coombe Valley Road and write to Highways England to discuss promptly finding alternative sites for drivers to rest.
“These are problems for foreign and British lorry drivers. We need to help lorry drivers find safe parking spaces" - Cllr Peter Walker
Parts of Dover have had problems of nuisance parking from lorries leading to obstructions, with some trucks left on double-yellow lines.
But truckers in France heading for Dover have the constant problem of migrants trying to break into their vehicles to smuggle themselves into Britain.
They have regularly complained of being attacked and threatened by the migrants and people traffickers.
Cllr Collor does not believe there would be the space for a lorry parking area in Dover town itself but something could be found a short distance further out.
Lorry drivers would certainly have a period of physical rest during the 90-minute crossing between Calais and Dover, but Cllr Collor says that may not be enough.
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