HGV drivers were turned away from the Ashford Truckstop in Kent in their droves last week, as the site reached capacity, and it’s caused uproar. With more than 200 drivers turned away from the official rest stop, the heat is on this and all other truck stops in the UK to expand their facilities or welcome more competitors by the roadside. The Road Haulage Association slammed the UK’s provision for HGV drivers, saying it highlights the lack of serviced rest stops for hard-working freight drivers who are already under fire for taking breaks outside official territory.

hgv truck stop

Just last month, the DVSA was forced to clarify the new rules under which drivers can be fined for taking their long rest periods inside their cabs anywhere other than a fully serviced truck stop or official rest area. Drivers found to be stopping for longer than a short break in any unofficial rest area can now be fined up to £300 under the new rules and could also face prohibitions. But with the current shortage of well serviced and legal places for drives to stop, drivers will find it incredibly difficult to abide by this new regulation.

In Kent the truck stop had to turn away a total of 252 HGVs over the course of a single evening, leaving those drivers with few choices about where to stop to take their legally required rest breaks. In addition to the potential legal repercussions, the consequences for each driver of a night in a layby are unsafe and unhygienic surroundings, causing issues for other road users too. The problem is only going to get worse as Christmas approaches, with more and more drivers on the roads delivering festive goods to supermarkets and houses all over the country. The truck stop in Kent has applied to expand their capacity with an additional 300 spaces, but this is only one small fix and is unlikely to come fast enough for this year’s Christmas season.

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