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MP Gordon Henderson wants tougher action against foreign hauliers ignoring laws

By Paul Francis

The government will be urged to take tougher action against foreign hauliers who ignore laws about rest periods and evade fines while in the UK.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson will tell fellow MPs in a debate today that UK lorry drivers are operating at a disadvantage because regulations on what is known as the weekly rest period are not enforced properly in the UK.

He will highlight the discrepancies between the UK and other European countries when it comes to fines imposed on hauliers for ignoring the rule they must not take their rest period in the cabin of their truck.

A Kent MP says UK lorry drivers are operating at a disadvantage
A Kent MP says UK lorry drivers are operating at a disadvantage

He is expected to say other countries impose much heavier fines than lorry drivers can expect to get in the UK, where the maximum is £300.

The MP will claim the disparity results in an indirect and unfair cost on British companies while in Europe, citing France, where fines can be as much as a staggering £26,000 for sleeping in the cabin.

He is expected to urge ministers to act on Britain's "lax attitude" to the enforcement to stop foreign hauliers getting a commercial advantage while here.

MP Gordon Henderson
MP Gordon Henderson

He will also call for more lorry parks in the county to curb the problem of HGV drivers stopping in residential streets.

The intervention comes after the start of a new crackdown on lorry drivers which bans them from parking overnight on the A20 in Ashford.

An 18-month clamping trial will stop HGV drivers from parking between Charing and the Drovers roundabout.

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