HGV drivers are being reminded not to park up illegally to get border ready or avoid traffic management routes on the way to Kent ports.
Most hauliers heading to Europe via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel have been abiding by new regulations introduced as a result of the UK leaving the EU, helping to ensure no significant issues on Kent’s roads so far this year.
But with traffic levels expected to increase in the coming days and weeks – particularly as French customs intensify their border checks – KCC is working to keep Kent moving and enforcing new temporary powers given to it by government to help prevent Transition-related traffic disruption in the country.
The new restrictions, which came into force on 1 January, and apply 24-7, seven days a week across Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, Maidstone, Swale and Thanet, mean drivers who illegally or anti-socially park risk clamping and fines.
KCC’s Director of Highways Simon Jones said: “We and our partners in the Kent Resilience Forum have worked hard on traffic management plans ahead of leaving the EU but there remains a risk of disruption as some freight is turned back from ports and inland border checkpoints, such as Sevington, if newly-required border paperwork is not in order.
“In these instances, HGVs must return to their base of operation and not simply park up on the local road network and wait to get their permissions sorted.
“We appreciate HGV drivers are having to deal with new cross-Channel travel requirements and we have worked hard to ensure hauliers are aware of our new powers, and our targeted approach to enforcement, including distributing information leaflets.
“But, our overriding priority is to keep Kent’s roads safe and clear and we will take action against illegal parking that causes serious issues for other road users and residents.”
To further help hauliers, additional signs have been placed at key locations to ensure drivers are aware they are entering and leaving restriction zones. HGVs can continue to load/unload in the normal manner, except where existing parking restrictions apply, and drivers who are taking short statutory breaks using dedicated lay-bys or parking areas will not face enforcement.
People can report illegally parked HGVs via the ‘HGV Watch’ category of the Country Eye app. The app is free to download through the Country Eye website here: https://countryeye.co.uk/ and further information about the HGV parking ban scheme can be read here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/uk-has-left-the-european-union/travel-and-transport/hgv-parking-ban-scheme/_nocache