RHA disappointed at lorry park set back

The Road Haulage Association is disappointed to learn that the Department for Transport’s Judicial Review into the planned lorry park in Kent has been rejected.

The judges ruled that the proposed holding area for Operation Stack at Stanford West, designed to provide safe and secure parking for approximately 3,600 lorries, cannot go ahead because no environmental assessment was carried out prior to the review.

Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “I find it beyond belief as to why the most basic of procedures, that of an environmental assessment was not undertaken simply on the assumption that it was not needed.

“This facility is of massive importance to hauliers and the people of Kent. We understand that the alternatives are to extend the truck park at Manston and to utilise 2 lanes of the M20.

“This red-tape debacle is a complete disaster for hauliers coming over from the Continent.  Two years ago we saw the misery of operators who, for many days, were caught up in the gridlock of Operation Stack. Even the most basic requirements for HGV drivers such as toilet facilities and drinking water were non-existent. And for the people and economy of Kent, the cost was enormous.

“As Brexit approaches we are pushing hard for free-flowing customs border controls. If we cannot achieve the right Brexit deal, we could be looking at customs border queues which could potentially cause misery for hauliers and the residents and businesses of Kent

“Can you imagine Operation Stack becoming a daily way of life?

“The Road Haulage Association is committed to working with DfT to find a workable solution.”