A20 clamping scheme for truckers put into full-effect

Published: 03 July 2019

A20 clamping scheme for truckers put into full-effect
Following a controversial trial, council bosses in Kent have agreed to keep their clamping scheme in place on the A20. During the trial period, over 3,000 lorries were clamped during the course of 2 years, following this announcement – many more can expect the same treatment.

As part of this, truckers were banned from parking up and stopping overnight across the 5 miles the A20 extends across between Charing and the Drovers – as the trial took place between October 2017 and March 2019.

Ashford council met with bosses from the Department for Transport regarding the 2,754 truckers who had already been penalised to see if they could continue with the scheme following this trial period. The DfT agreed with their proposal.

Paul Bartlett, Ashford council deputy leader called the penalty “essential” and added further to his comments: “Before the trial started, we had drivers parking inappropriately, the drivers have no excuse for parking in lay-bys now because the Ashford International Truck Stop has been extended by 200 spaces.”

If any of the trucks were clamped while parked up, they would then need to pay a £150 release fee to carry on their day. Bosses are hoping to further increase the penalty from £150, as the charge covers the cost of the clamping firm for councils.

During a board meeting on the matter, Tom Cotton of the RHA let his opinion be heard on the penalties:
“Laybys are road safety features which enable all drivers to take a break, HGV drivers must take mandated breaks - there are serious consequences, loss of vocational licence and jobs for those who fail to comply.
“Santa does not deliver Christmas, nor the Easter Bunny Easter eggs, it all comes on the back of a lorry.

Trucks are the invisible supply line, no delivery is free, despite many retailers offering free delivery. Sixteen consultation responses supported making this order permanent - 16 along a five-mile section of road with thousands of residents living adjacent to it.”

He concluded: “The needs of the borough, Kent and the entire UK economy need to come above the 16 opponents. If you decide there is a need, then proper infrastructure needs to be put in place before restrictions are created. If appropriate overnight parking existed, the Road Haulage Association would not oppose restrictions.”

The RHA clearly expressed their concerns that hauliers who operate within the county are not being treated fairly with these penalties without better parking facilities to support the truck drivers that do need a rest after a long journey, or face other penalties for going over their hours.

Mr Bartlett summed up his thoughts on the scheme: "This is terrific news for us at Ashford because it enables us to ensure that inappropriate anti-social parking in residential areas is no longer permitted and we can charge £150 release fee for lorries that do that."
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