Truckstops too few and too poor say FTA members

The Freight Transport Association FTA has revealed a wholesale dissatisfaction with the standard and scale of truck stop provision in the UK among its members. In the leading trade body's latest survey, two-thirds of FTA members rated truckstop driver facilities, their availability and security levels to be poor or very poor. None of the respondents rated truck stops as very good.

Don Armour, FTA's Manager for Fleet Information, said:

"These results confirm just how poor truck stop provision is in the UK, the implications of which are very serious. Aside from providing lorry drivers with the humane standard of basic facility needed for a decent sleep, secure truckstops also mean that drivers are far less likely to be at the mercy of violent truck thieves."

Truck theft is on the rise, with 793 incidents recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008 rising from 712 in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to TruckPol. Instances of truck theft are more prevalent in areas with strong motorway access and where load values are typically higher, such as the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Essex and London.

Armour continued:

"Lorry drivers are legally required to take plenty of rest periods for obvious road safety reasons, the simple fact is that they have to park-up somewhere, so why not somewhere safe?"

FTA objected to plans to replace the Night Owl Truck Park in Featherstone, West Midlands with industrial units when the scheme was first mooted two years ago. Recent approval of the scheme will leave drivers with difficult decisions to make if they want to comply with drivers' safety rules to encourage road safety.

Armour concluded:

"Truck drivers are just trying to do an honest day's work getting goods from a to b, why should they have to face the prospect of violence and intimidation?

"Anti truckstop agendas are effectively a green light for truck thieves; the decision to remove the Night Owl is an example of pound signs winning over common sense and will leave many truckers high and dry."