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Ashford Determined Not to Let HGV Parking ‘Stack'-up

Ashford Determined Not to Let HGV Parking ‘Stack'-up

Media release

31st July 18

Ashford Borough Council is taking a pro-active stance to ease illegal lorry parking and congestion by approving plans to develop Waterbrook Park, a 140-acre site near junction 10 of the M20.

Ashford International Truckstop will double in size as part of the development to allow overnight parking for up to 600 heavy goods vehicles. The plans will also see new commercial property, retail space and 400 homes built with parkland and a lake on the site.

Determined to be in a better position for when Operation Stack is implemented and tackle any potential issues arising from Brexit, the council wanted to act quickly to approve the plans and increase capacity for lorry parking in Ashford.

Illegal lorry parking has blighted the area and contributed to unsocial behaviour from a small contingent of drivers. Determined to find a solution, Ashford Borough Council was the first council to adopt a lorry clamping scheme that allows them to clamp and fine drivers on their first illegal parking offence. This has proven highly effective and, coupled with a doubling of available HGV parking space, should ease the plight of HGV drivers trying to find a safe and clean environment to park as well as improve the area for local residents.

Rather than wait for Government action on the situation, which is magnified during Operation Stack, Ashford Borough Council has yet again taken a decisive approach to find a solution for Ashford. The existing truckstop will remain fully operational during construction of the new park to ensure there is no impact or increase in illegal parking in the area.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: "Doubling the size of the truck stop is expected to play a vital role in assisting the Freight Transport Association, by providing more off-road parking at our Waterbrook Truckstop. This should assist in obviating the need to park in unsuitable and inappropriate locations in Ashford and along the M20 corridor. The wider plan for Waterbrook Park will also help stimulate economic development and create new jobs and quality homes.

"Operation Stack has blighted local communities and businesses each time it has been introduced, which is why the council has continued to work tirelessly with partners to find workable solutions to the HGV parking problem. I am hopeful that other local authorities will follow our example and seek to provide or increase existing truckstops, thereby easing the need to accommodate such large numbers in one huge location."

Ashford-based construction company, GSE Building and Civil Engineering Ltd, has been awarded the contract to develop the site and work is expected to begin on the new truckstop within two months.

Darrell Healey, Managing Director of GSE Group, owners of Ashford International Truckstop, said: "This is great news for Ashford and Kent and is the result of the combined efforts of our team working closely with the council's planners. 

"The current truckstop is operating at capacity and we are turning away hundreds of lorries every evening as we just don't have the space to accommodate them. We expect the new site to be open later next year."

"The wider Waterbrook development will create essential new business space and new homes for Ashford."

Policy Manager for the South East for the Freight Transport Association, Heidi Skinner said, "Any solution which provides FTA's members with the facilities which they need, while keeping traffic - not just HGVs - flowing throughout Kent - is to be welcomed.  No HGV driver wants to take his or her legally-mandated rest period at the side of a road, without basic services being available, and the expansion at Waterbrook will take more drivers out of laybys into a safe, secure and hygienic location at the end of a tiring and stressful working day."


Issued by Zest the Agency on behalf of Ashford Borough Council 
For further information please contact Darren Laws on 01634 671167 / 07958  304375 or email: