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TT Club welcomes truck stop improvement initiatives

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The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has set up an industry led Task and Finish Group (TFG) to explore raising standards in truck parking facilities and increasing the capacity of parking spaces across the country. Freight insurance specialist TT Club is actively participating in the Group, in a determined attempt to improve driver welfare and cargo security.

London, 8th May 2024

In recent years TT has ramped up its campaign to increase awareness of the risks associated with overnight parking of trucks, not just in the UK but across Europe as a whole. The insurer emphasised in a recent joint report (with BSI*) it found that over 70% of cargo thefts in 2023 around the world were from trucks.

Mike Yarwood, TT’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention chairs one of the working groups looking at parking standards contributing to the DfT’s twelve-month long Task and Finish Group (TFG) project, “TT applauds the UK Government’s initiative and is grateful to add its experience of trends in cargo theft and the modus operandi of criminals in order to encourage adoption of standards at truck stop facilities,” he says.

The TFG offers an opportunity for a unique gathering of individuals from industry bodies, truck park and motorway service operators, Police, standards organisations, insurers and users to explore, identify and understand the blockers to, and opportunities for better security and safer rest facilities for those dubbed the ‘knights of the road’.

In 2022 the UK’s total freight movements by road amounted to 175 billion tonne-kilometres¹; not all admittedly required trucks to be parked overnight but break and rest periods are a legal requirement for most journeys.. Across the EU in the same year 13.6 billion tonnes (nearly 2 trillion tonne-kilometres²) of freight moved by road.

“The extent that the UK and EU economies rely on trucking is staggering. As industry stakeholders we must strive to both increase the safety of drivers and decrease the loss of cargo. That is why it is hoped that this TFG will result in longer term strategies to improve the current truck parking landscape in the UK, and in addition that useful guidance can be offered to EU legislators,” comments Yarwood.

The TFG’s brief is wide-reaching but those aspects of the challenge that are taking priority on the standards workstream are:

A survey to better understand why those operators of secure facilities adopt current standards.

Mapping of highest crime locations across the last four years.

Exploring greater use of ANPR/CCTV equipment.

Mapping of violent crimes against drivers.

The TFG is about delivering practical industry led initiatives to improve standards and increase capacity. The TFG will report on its progress to Ministers.

A further encouraging move from TT’s perspective came last month when the DfT announced news of successful applications to their match funding grant scheme (‘The HGV parking and driver welfare grant’) by a number of sites across England. To date the Department has processed 76 such applications. In total, investment so far amounts to £12 million by Government and £20 million by industry concerns. Improvements to truck stop facilities include new showers and restaurants, more secure fencing around rest areas and new parking spaces for HGVs.
Source: TT Club