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Halloween horror for truck drivers

Jan 12, 2018

The night of 31 October, 2017 was a horror story for truck drivers in the south of England, not just because it was Halloween: the Ashford Truck Stop in Kent was full, with over 200 trucks turned away.

According to Ashford Truck Stop’s General Manager, Darren Smith: “By 18:30 we had received over 90 reservations. By 19:30 we had to turn away 252 trucks - a record to say the least. We have applied for permission to establish an additional 300 parking spaces but that won’t relieve the immediate problem.”

Those turned away from official rest areas have had no alternative but to spend the night in their cabs, in public lay-bys, on or close to public roads or on motorway slip roads - many facing fines and prohibitions.

Road Haulage Association Chief Executive, Richard Burnett said: “This clearly underlines the lack of even the most basic of facilities for HGV drivers who need to rest at the end of their shift. No driver wants to spend the night in a lay-by – it’s both unsafe and unhygienic. But for those who are unable to get into an official truck stop there is no alternative. The additional stress that this causes HGV drivers is both unnecessary and unavoidable.”

DVSA now punishing resting drivers

From 1 November, the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) in the UK has started punishing drivers who take full weekly rest breaks in cabs outside formal rest areas (i.e. service areas and truck stops). This will apply to weekly rests taken in public lay-bys, on or close to public roads and on motorway slip roads.

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