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MP HELEN WHATELY: Call to extend power to stop illegal lorry parking

Friday 30th July 2021

MP Helen Whately has written to the roads minister over the government's decision to end a pilot scheme allowing the clamping of illegally parked lorries.

The project was designed to deter the misery caused by HGVs parking in roadsides, laybys and residential areas in restricted zones across seven districts to June 30.

Originally designed to counteract a perceived consequence of Brexit, many communities felt the scheme worked well. Most offenders were foreign driver.

In a letter to Rachel Maclean MP at the Department for Transport, Mrs Whately, who has long campaigned against 'fly-parking', said progress risks being "undone".

She wrote: "These powers have been a great help to KCC in tackling the problem of lorry fly-parking and keeping traffic flowing along Kent’s roads.

"I understand the powers were used 5,528 times by Kent County Council, with 77% of drivers being from outside the UK.

"KCC has said it will continue to do everything it can to protect communities from illegal HGV parking, but there is disappointment that their request to have these powers extended was not accepted.

"While problems with lorry fly-parking risked being made worse by the transition period coming to an end, there has long been frustration in Kent about lorries parked dangerously in laybys and lanes.

"There is concern from some of my constituents that recent progress in stopping lorries from parking illegally risks being undone by the decision not to extend these powers."

Chairman of Harrietsham Parish Council Eddie Powell said: "I have this problem right on my doorstep and it will return. There is no deterrent now. Crazy."

Logistics UK, which represents hauliers, welcomed the scrapping of KCC's powers saying that drivers must, by law, take rests and there is a shortage or parking spaces for trucks.