Council leaders call for construction of A2 lorry parking

The leaders of three councils in east Kent have written to the Department for Transport to call for permanent lorry parking to be built near the A2.

Simon Cook, leader of Canterbury City Council, Andrew Bowles, leader of Swale Borough Council and Keith Morris, leader of Dover District Council, say the facility is desperately needed to prevent HGVs parking in laybys and slip roads along the dual carriageway.

Drivers also park in villages nearby and often leave their engines running disturbing residents, who say rubbish is also frequently left behind.

Cllr Cook, who represents Nailbourne ward – including Bridge, Kingston and Barham, where lorries are often parked – said it was a serious and dangerous problem.

He said: “Very recently we had a situation where a car was involved in a collision with a lorry that had been parked on the A2 just west of Canterbury, and three people in the car were killed.

“Along this stretch of the A2, parked HGVs frequently overhang onto the running lanes of the A2 and create a hazard.

“Lorries are also often parked in all the laybys along the road, leaving no safe area for other drivers to use in an emergency situation.”

The three leaders say they fear the situation will worsen if a third Thames crossing is constructed, as traffic along the A2 to Dover will increase.

And they say the lack of highway patrols in the area mean drivers are rarely challenged and are allowed to park wherever they choose without repercussion.

Cllr Cook added: “We have formally requested suitable lorry parking close to the A2.

“Lorry drivers are a crucial part of the country’s economy, putting food on our table and delivering the goods we all need.

“They need to take regular breaks, but in permanent planned sites with the proper facilities. Our laybys and country roads are not the right place for them to take their breaks and a proper solution is what is needed.”

The letter has been sent in response to the DfT’s consultation, Moving Britain Ahead, which sets out the Government’s plans for investment in strategic roads and local transport solutions. It includes the creation of a new National Roads Fund for all revenue from Vehicle Excise Duty and a long-term Road Investment Strategy that will see £15billion spent on motorways and major trunk roads up to 2021.