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DfT announces truckstop upgrade funding
By adminCategories: NewsPublished On: Monday 25 September 2023
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that nearly £8 million has been awarded to 39 operators of roadside facilities to fund improvements at sites across England, as a result of its HGV parking and driver welfare grant scheme – and that a second round of funding is now open for bids.
The DfT says that lorry drivers will benefit from improved rest areas and more secure parking as result of the funding, which will complement £11 million from industry and form part of up to £100 million in joint government and industry investment to improve truckstop facilities by March 2025.
The upgrades will improve welfare facilities such as restaurants, showers and rest areas, says the government, as well as boosting HGV parking capacity and driver security.
Both Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) welcomed the announcement.
Policy director at Logistics UK, Kate Jennings, said: “Today’s announcement will be welcome news for the professional drivers using the UK’s road network, who are often forced to take legally mandated rest breaks in their cabs, without access to hygiene facilities due to a chronic lack of welfare provision on key routes.
“This announcement is a positive step forward and our members operating in England will welcome the planned improvements to accessible facilities for them to access during the course of their working days.”
RHA managing director Richard Smith added: “We are pleased that the first tranche of grants has been announced and that lorry drivers will soon benefit from the improvements this scheme is helping to fund.
“We would encourage other operators to apply for funding to help them upgrade, too. Better facilities and more safe and secure parking for truckers are a key priority for our industry.”
Ken McMeikan, CEO of Moto Hospitality, several of whose sites are set to benefit from the scheme, told Transport Operator: “HGV drivers are a customer group we value immensely and we aim to provide them with the best service possible every time they visit us which is why Moto continually invests in upgrading, refurbishing and cleaning the services we provide for them.
“We will be using the match funding from the HGV driver welfare grant scheme to undertake full-refurbishments of toilets including drainage at seven sites in the next 12-18 months alongside security upgrades at Grantham.”
He added that the Moto network was preparing for the introduction of low-carbon heavy freight transport.
“We are continuing to work on our strategy around the decarbonisation of the HGV and PSV industry so that Moto will continue to offer a great place for drivers to take a break when they are on their way from A to B (and back again).”
Among further beneficiaries of the funding is the Hollies Truckstop in Staffordshire, which is operated by Certas Energy UK.
Certas Energy head of estate development for roadside services, Mike Heaton, said: “Enhancing driver welfare and ensuring that hauliers have somewhere safe, clean and secure to park their vehicles is a leading priority of our business – and the DfT funding is a vital step in giving drivers the facilities they deserve.
“DfT has Certas Energy’s ongoing support on its mission to improve driver facilities.”
Announcing the funding, the roads minister Richard Holden said: “Day and night, our lorry drivers and hauliers work tirelessly to deliver essential food, goods and medical supplies up and down the country.
“As we continue supporting the haulage sector in playing its crucial role in helping to grow the economy, these first winners will help ensure lorry drivers have great facilities where they can safely park, sleep and rest.”