Last reviewed 22 December 2020
With effect from 1 January 2021, Kent Count Council will have new powers to enable it to clamp and issue penalty notices to drivers in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Maidstone, Swale and Thanet if they have parked illegally. This initiative is intended to help keep roads in the county clear of illegally parked heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Council Leader Roger Gough said: “We recognise that antisocial HGV parking is already a problem in Kent and something that will most likely become worse once we have left the EU. I’m grateful to the Government for giving us these temporary powers which will act as a deterrent to any HGV driver and ensure that compliance is greater, meaning key routes on Kent’s road network are kept clear.”
The ban is applicable to all lorry drivers including those travelling nationally and internationally.
The council is now arranging contracts to ensure the seven boroughs can be patrolled and is also arranging for signage to be installed on all relevant roads.
The initiative has not, however, been well received by Logistics UK with Heidi Skinner, Policy Manager for the South, saying that the hauliers’ organisation is very frustrated that the Department for Transport (DfT) has given these powers to the local authority.
“Access to places to rest is of paramount importance to the workers responsible for keeping goods moving across the UK and further afield,” she pointed out. “It is also required to meet their legally required rest periods under the drivers’ hours regulation.”
With the ban enforceable by a £150 fine from 1 January, Logistics UK has complained that operators have been given only 12 working days’ notice.
It also points out that almost all lorry parks in the surrounding area are at critical levels of utilisation and that neither DfT nor the council has provided any solution to the lack of space.