Monday, 22 August 2016

RHA welcomes Transport Focus recognition for improved HGV driver facilities . . .


RHA welcomes Transport Focus recognition for improved HGV driver facilities

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The Road Haulage Association welcomes the report from the independent transport user watchdog Transport Focus about roadside facilities on England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads which says that lorry drivers have said their needs are not being fully met by current roadside facilities.

Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The UK haulage industry is the lifeblood of the UK economy and it’s the responsibility of HGV drivers to keep it moving. We have been working closely with Transport Focus from the start to ensure that the views of hauliers and their drivers were fully considered in the research and we welcome the report’s acknowledgement that the importance of driver facilities must be addressed and acted upon.

“The roads are this industry's main place of work. HGV drivers are not commuting or on leisure trips – they are providing an essential service. We look to Highways England to provide a strategic road network that is safe, efficient and provides drivers with appropriate facilities.”

The RHA is asking for a clear ministerial acknowledgement that the provision of adequate parking on its network is a core responsibility, both for the Department for Transport and Highways England. These provisions should be on a par with the quality of the road surface.

Key points raised are:
  • Capacity
  • Security for drivers, their vehicles and loads
  • The provision of facilities, including toilet and showers for drivers.

Key benefits would be:
  • Improved driver welfare
  • Better recruitment and retention of drivers in an essential industry
  • Increased road safety.
“Drivers have a common-sense obligation to take breaks and, in the case of lorry drivers, there is a regulatory requirement to do so,” Richard Burnett continued.

“We are already taking the message of responsibility the Department for Transport and Highways England. We have already flagged these issues with new secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling and roads minister John Hayes. We fully support John Hayes' vision for improving the design of roads and facilities – but that must include facilities for lorry drivers.

“Highways England needs to get more involved in this issue with motorway service area providers, local authorities and must assist truckstop developers to ensure provision of adequate facilities.” 

The issue of lorry parking has been highlighted with plans for a holding area in Kent for Operation Stack. That is important for emergency use but Transport Focus has highlighted the need for a better approach to where lorries park as they go about their essential work for the UK economy.

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