Kent County Council (KCC) and Ashford Borough Council (ABC) are joining forces to clamp down on illegally parked HGVs from the end of this month.
The scheme, which will allow the authorities to clamp and fine drivers, has been developed by working with the Department for Transport (DfT). The DfT agreed to change the current clamping policy for HGVs so that a clamp can be fitted for first-time offences.
The zones that will come under this ban are:
• The A20 between Charing and Ashford
• Wotton Road
• Ellingham Industrial Estate
• The Orbital Park, Sevington
• Ashford Business Park, Sevington.
It will run between 8pm and 7am Monday to Friday and 24 hours Saturday and Sunday on the industrial estates. The fine to get the truck released will be £70.
Although a ban on lorry parking has been in place at Orbital Park and the Ashford Business Park in Sevington since 2004, enforcement was hindered by limited access to the registered keeper details of some foreign-registered HGVs. This effectively meant that European collection agencies had to be employed to track down drivers and collect the fines.
In the run-up to the scheme’s launch on 30 October there will be advertising about it in multiple languages. Kent Police will also be supporting the initiative in its first week.
Eurotunnel, Dover Docks and all nearby truck stops have been briefed about the order and its implications.
ABC’s Parking Civil Enforcement Team will also be issuing warning notices to any HGV parked in areas where enforcement will be taking place.
KCC cabinet member for transport Matthew Balfour said: “Under this new scheme we can clamp lorries that are flouting the ban, fine them and charge them to remove the clamp.
“I’m delighted that we have been able to work together to get this scheme up and running and help stamp out an issue that is affecting residents lives.
“The order will not allow any overnight parking of HGVs along the A20 between and including Charing and the Drovers Roundabout and this will extend for some distance along adjoining roads to stop HGVs simply moving further on.”
ABC’s portfolio holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety, Cllr Brad Bradford, added: “Although there are many designated truck stops across the county, many areas in Kent – particularly Ashford – have experienced issues with overnight lorry parking on side roads and industrial estates.
“We hope [this new scheme] will show positive results, like Ashford’s pilot clamping scheme did in 2015.
“This initiative will ensure that effective enforcement can be taken on lorry drivers who ignore the rules by illegally parking in the borough.
“We hope it will benefit and improve the lives of our residents and businesses who are affected by lorries parking around our businesses parks and on this section of the A20.”