The Road Haulage Association (RHA) was “dismayed” that it wasn’t consulted over the decision to almost triple clamp release fees on a road in Kent that is popular with HGVs.
Ashford Borough Council’s request to raise clamp release fees on HGVs by 275 per cent on a stretch of the A20 in Kent has been given the go-ahead by the Department for Transport (DfT), and the RHA isn’t happy that it wasn’t involved in the approval.
The decision means fees have jumped from £40 to £150 in the controversial six-mile ‘parking trials’ area between the Charing and Drovers roundabouts in Ashford.
“We are a statutory consultee yet no one consulted us,” said Richard Burnett, chief executive for the RHA, which calls itself the trade body of choice for road transport and freight logistics operators.
“This is a monumental change, so to target lorry drivers and to not seek the views of the trade body with responsibility for the HGV sector is unacceptable,” he added.
Mr Burnett went on to stress the legal requirement and safety connotations for HGV drivers to take statutory rest breaks. However, a lack of facilities in Kent means drivers are unable to take even the shortest rest breaks between 8pm and 7am around Ashford.
The RHA boss called for a change in restrictions so trucks can park for up to two hours along the affected stretch of the A20 at any time to facilitate rest breaks.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, adds: “These parking problems aren’t simply going to vanish and the DfT would be wise to involve the RHA in situations such as this.”