Published: 00:01, 06 October 2017 |
Updated: 07:27, 06 October 2017
A former town mayor has launched an astonishing attack on drivers who she says are making people’s lives hell, particularly in the St Radigund’s area.
They are urinating in the street, says Cllr Sue Jones, blocking an ambulances route and damaging cars. The town and district councillor has even suggested some may be drink-driving.
She spoke out in a letter to KentOnline's sister paper, the Dover Mercury, following a call for designated resting areas for truckers having to run the gauntlet of illegal immigrants and traffickers in Calais.
She writes: “It is my residents I must fight for.
“A new regulated lorry park is desperately needed on the port route for those drivers who do not want to disturb local residents, leave their litter, use the street as a toilet, depart Dover with dubious blood alcohol levels and pocket their overnight allowance.
“Unfortunately St Radigund’s has for some years now been the area for those who would not pay to use a facility, even if there was one available
“The traffic lights are regularly blocked by lorries entering the estate and this is the main access for ambulances using the (Buckland) hospital.”
She said a strategy is now needed to bring together parking provisions, enforcement authorities and councils to educate and enforce restrictions across Dover.
Cllr Jones has since explained that some truckers are often seen getting together in empty trailers "well supplied" with alcohol from a local shop.
She told the Mercury: "It has made residents wonder what their reading would be if they were breathalysed at 4am when some of them leave."
Cllr Jones was responding to comments made by Cllr Nigel Collor at a recent joint transportation meeting where he called for spaces to be created for truckers coming from Calais.
He said they didn’t dare stop before reaching the French port, in case of attacks by migrants, and risked becoming overtired and causing accidents after reaching Britain.
The committee had voted to consult residents about extending lorry parking prohibition controls in St Radigund’s and to write to Highways England to looking into finding alternative rests sites for drivers.
Cllr Collor stresses he wants a balance between helping the harassed truckers but avoiding problems for residents.
He said that Dover District Council already has restricted lorry parking for nearly all of Poulton Close in St Radigund’s.
Enforcement officers regularly visit the areas and issue penalty charge notices to those who break the rules.
He said the JTB had agreed on consulting locals over extending restrictions in St Radigund’s to Coombe Valley Road between Randolph Road and Edgar Road, plus Barwick Road.
He added: “I fully understand that issues in St Radigund’s with lorry parking.
“We must and will continue to monitor where trucks are parking in order that they do not use residential areas while appreciating the needs for drivers to take their legally required rest periods.”
Cllr Collor is hoping for a trucker rest area a short distance outside Dover.
There is a proposed 4,000-space lorry park off the M20 near Hythe but that scheme, if approved by the government, would take years with the long consultation process and a planned judicial review.
Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “We need to tackle lorries parking up and causing problems in St Radigund’s and in lay-bys.
“Yet it’s also important that truckers are provided with somewhere to rest.
“That’s why it’s vital the new M20 lorry park is taken forward swiftly.”
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