Lack of good HGV parking is forcing drivers to quit | Descartes Routing UK

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Lack of HGV Parking facilities being addressed

Lack of HGV Parking facilities being addressed

In our original article, we highlighted how the lack of HGV parking facilities was having an effect on driver retention.

Now we're beginning to see solutions in sight with new HGV parks outlined for construction.


UPDATE – New Felixstowe HGV park approved

A new HGV  park and container storage unit have been approved near the port of Felixstowe. ADP London submitted the proposals at the start of 2023 and East Suffolk Council granted planning approval in May 2023.


Wrotham HGV park in planning

Updated plans have been resubmitted by Moto Hospitality to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, in Kent, for a new 200 HGV parking facility at junction 2A of M26 near Wrotham, after they were initially refused in 2022.


Leicestershire HGV park near A42 approved

Despite months of delays, a controversial HGV park close to the A42 and the Premier Inn at Flagstaff Island, is set to go ahead after North West Leicestershire District Council gave it the go ahead.


Thurrock HGV park expansion approved

The Thurrock HGV park has been finally been given permission to more than double its size, providing spaces for up to 554 HGVs.


Is a shortage of good HGV parking facilities forcing some drivers to quit?

Poor facilities for drivers and lack of suitable overnight parking spaces have previously been cited as one of the many reasons that HGV drivers were quitting the logistics industry. Thousands of drivers are being forced to sleep in laybys with no facilities when official HGV parks are full.

Despite a recent injection of cash by the Department for Transport to improve roadside facilities and lorry parking, there are still insufficient spaces for overnight parking.

Following a government-commissioned report by consultancy firm Aecom, who were asked to investigate overnight parking within 5KM (3.1miles) of major A roads and motorways in England, it was discovered that on average 21,234 HGVs are parked up overnight, but that there are only 16,761 spaces in secure parks, leaving 4,473 to find alternative overnight locations.

Today 100 lorry parks are full each night compared to just 65 in 2017. Demand for spaces has grown and out-striped supply. The East of England, the South of England, and the East Midlands all had between 90% and 100% of their available HGV parking slots occupied each night.

Every 24 hours, HGV drivers are required by law to take an uninterrupted rest that lasts at least nine hours to comply with drivers’ hours rules. However, a lack of spaces was cited as one of the major concerns of drivers and transport operators, as it made planning ahead to stay within drivers’ hours rules very difficult.

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With the UK still suffering from a shortage of HGV drivers, companies must do all that they can to reduce the stress for their drivers. Poor route planning and inefficient delivery schedules can force drivers to rush or miss parking spaces for their drivers’ hours rest periods. This can lead to a disgruntled employee, one that eventually seeks employment elsewhere or in a different industry.

New technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can help with driver retention by recognising down-to-the-driver components and creating customised delivery routes that depend on both the productivity or knowledge of the driver and the parking facilities that are available. Machine learning can identify the routes that consistently pose issues for drivers and help to find alternatives.

While plans are being created to increase the availability of HGV parking places in the UK, transport operators should take immediate action to decrease the impact on their drivers while also reducing costs on the delivery side of their operations.

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