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“Truckers are the lifeblood of our economy,” says Transport Minister as she opens Europe’s largest truck stop


Transport Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton underlined the importance of HGV drivers to the UK economy last Friday (3 December 2021) when opening Ashford International Truckstop, off the M20 in Kent – the first or last stop for many drivers as they travel to or from France.

“We have seen during the pandemic that our truckers are the lifeblood of our economy and of our way of life,” she said, “If we don’t look after them they will not look after us. And so I think it is absolutely right that facilities like this are being built.

“I really want to be able to say to young people across the country, why not think about a career in logistics?” the minister continued, “Because actually it’s a great job, it’s a great career and you will be looked after.”

The new Ashford International Truckstop, which opened to HGVs earlier this week (7 December 2021), has a range of modern facilities for the drivers of up to 650 trucks per day, making it the largest in both the UK and Europe.

The minister highlighted the need to build more and better driver facilities across the UK with the money allocated for the purpose from HM Treasury’s recent Spending Review. “We did get a pot of money to improve lorry parking across the country,” she said, “We got £32.5m and I am open to all ideas about how we can spend that money most effectively to improve facilities for drivers.”

The new facilities at Ashford include a fully fitted out kitchen and restaurant serving freshly cooked meals 24/7, a bar, games room, toilet and shower facilities for men and women, six bedrooms and a state-of-the-art gym.

Darren Smith, General Manager at Ashford International Truckstop, said: “In order to maintain and attract new drivers into the sector, it is important that they can access affordable, safe, secure facilities when they need to take a break. By providing better facilities for drivers, we can help them to be better rested on long journeys and rested drivers will be safer drivers.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/campaigns/driver-facilities

Published On: 09/12/2021 16:00:59

 

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