Last reviewed 11 November 2020

A trade union has launched a campaign to lobby MPs and councillors in Kent to ensure that proper welfare facilities be installed at all lorry parks built in the county, in anticipation of transport delays at the end of December 2020 when the UK’s transition deal with the EU ceases.

The Government has announced that there will be at least four large lorry parks in Kent to deal with delays caused by increased checks and paperwork, which will be required after January 2021 for lorries exporting goods to the EU.

The union Unite says, during the expected delays, decent and clean toilets with washing facilities including hot and cold running water will be especially important in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unite is also campaigning for the provision of hot food and areas for drivers to relax outside their lorries to combat the dangers of fatigue.

So far, Unite claims the Government has currently only mentioned that portaloos will be provided and Unite says this is “entirely inadequate”.

The union is asking local MPs and councillors to support its campaign and to ensure that the necessary facilities are provided, either by the relevant local authority or through pressure applied to central government.

Commenting on the campaign, Phil Silkstone, Unite’s Regional Officer, said, “This is a huge public health issue, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Unless there are adequate welfare facilities then it is inevitable that the local environment will be damaged… The health and safety of drivers must not be put at risk.”