The Road Haulage Association has written to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Lord Ahmed to voice its disappointment that the urgent issue of weekly rest rules has been further delayed while additional stakeholder views are sought.
Commenting, RHA deputy policy director Duncan Buchanan said: “We do not believe the delay is necessary, the matter is urgent. Reputational damage is being inflicted on the road haulage industry by high and increasing levels of inappropriate overnight and weekend parking throughout the UK.
This issue impacts most visibly on the routes around, to and from our main ports. The poor working conditions for drivers, and the anti-social consequences that arise from long-period parking without proper facilities for drivers, is something that should have been left in the 19th century.
“We need more parking facilities so drivers are able to rest properly in hygienic conditions. It is evident that many drivers working for operators from outside of the UK park badly in public spaces, they should always seek to take long rests in places with proper facilities,” Duncan Buchanan continued.
The breach of the rules by drivers has been acknowledged by the Department for Transport as illegal.
The RHA believes that delaying effective enforcement will only serve to make a bad situation worse. It hasproposed that initial on-road enforcement focuses 45 hour rests taken at weekends outside secure parking areas equipped with showers and toilets.
Concluding, Duncan Buchanan said: “We believe targeted enforcement will be seen as an extremely positive measure after many years of inaction on the issue of inappropriate weekend lorry parking. It will be a positive step in improving working conditions and the reputation of the road haulage sector.”