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Council chiefs call for permanent lorry parking near A2

By Paul Francis

The leaders of three councils in east Kent have written to the Department for Transport calling for permanent lorry parking to be built near the A2.

Simon Cook, leader of Canterbury City Council, Andrew Bowles, leader of Swale Borough Council and Keith Morris, leader of Dover District Council, say the facility is desperately needed to prevent HGVs parking in laybys and slip roads along the dual carriageway.

The three Conservative leaders say they fear even more congestion and fly-parking by HGVs when a third Thames crossing is built, as traffic along the A2 to Dover will increase.

General scene of lorry parking in St Radigund's
General scene of lorry parking in St Radigund's

The government has said it remains committed to expanding lorry parking around the M20 after abandoning a huge park it wanted to build on a site near Standford, off the M20 near Folkestone.

Cllr Cook, who represents Nailbourne ward – including Bridge, Kingston and Barham, where lorries are often parked – said the lack of lorry parking was dangerous.

He said: “Recently we had a situation where a car was involved in a collision with a lorry that had been parked on the A2 just west of Canterbury, and three people in the car were killed.”

“Along this stretch of the A2, parked HGVs frequently overhang onto the running lanes of the A2 and create a hazard.

“Lorries are also often parked in all the laybys along the road, leaving no safe area for other drivers to use in an emergency situation.”

Ashford was the first place in England able to use clamps to stop lorries parking. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ashford was the first place in England able to use clamps to stop lorries parking. Picture: Barry Goodwin

And they say the lack of highway patrols in the area mean drivers are rarely challenged and are allowed to park wherever they choose without repercussion.

Cllr Cook added: “We have formally requested suitable lorry parking close to the A2. Lorry drivers are a crucial part of the country’s economy, putting food on our table and delivering the goods we all need.

“They need to take regular breaks, but in permanent planned sites with the proper facilities. Our laybys and country roads are not the right place for them to take breaks and a proper solution is what is needed.”

The letter has been sent in response to the DfT’s consultation, Moving Britain Ahead, which sets out the Government’s plans for investment in strategic roads and local transport solutions.

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