More than 1 in 3 truck parks in the UK do not have showers or security
A recent survey was conducted by the Department for Transport (DfT), which looked at truck parking facilities in 2022. Not only is the information contained within this report generally interesting, but what really stood out is that the quality and quantity of HGV parks and parking facilities across England are not up to scratch in many ways.
Quantity and Quality Suffer
When it comes to the overall usage of HGV parks in England, it was found that the utilisation is at 83%. This percentage is flagged by the DfT as being “serious”. If the utilisation rate increases to 85%, the situation of not enough parks becomes “critical”.
Furthermore, a significant problem which was reported during the investigations was the lack of facilities available to drivers at the truck parks. Another serious issue highlighted was security.
The report used a grading system to explain the issues faced with the facilities. The system is scaled from 0 to 6 – zero being the lowest and six being the highest. Most HGV parks in England are rated 2 or below - meaning they have toilets and a cafe with minimal security.
At scale 2, there are no showers, no accommodation, no security fences or CCTV systems. There is no protection for the contents of HGVs and trucks.
However, - it’s not all bad
Some areas saw much better results. Yorkshire, the North-West and the West Midlands all had parks which scored higher, averaging between 4 and 5 on the scale.
This score means they have many more facilities and security measures. Even though not yet perfect, in comparison they performed much better to those at scale 2.
Good work needs to be done to change this
The report does make it clear that plenty of change is needed. If you take all the percentages, average them out and then round up to create a nationwide picture, the scale is not very good.
Almost one third of HGV parks in England score 2 or below and only 6.5% of all parks achieve the highest rating of 6.
Further compounding the issue is the fact that a truck park is not cheap. Drivers do not get access to free resources. Motorway service areas across the UK are reported to be the most expensive place to park a vehicle in England. Drivers pay an average price of £31.71.
This is higher than the average parking price for trucks across England, which is roughly £28. Independent truck stop parking, in comparison, is £21.
Michelle Gardner is the Head of Logistics at Logistics UK and is just one of many who commented on the report. She had this to say:
“This has been an issue for too long and is preventing the industry from recruiting and retaining the skilled workforce that it needs. The Government’s stated objective to improve the situation is welcome, but our industry now deserves action so that more parking facilities are developed, at pace, where they are most needed.”
It is clear that for the industry to continue to perform well, changes will need to be made to truck stops including a pronounced need for extra security measures.
Please note that at Sparshatt Truck and Van our Dartford and Sittingbourne depots have facilities for drivers to relax whilst their truck is being fixed.