German haulier association rants over politicians “torpedoing” new lorry parks
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The lack of HGV spaces has been an ongoing issue in Germany for years. As lorry parks usually fill up before the end of the day, drivers have no other choice than to park on the roadside, at industrial sites or at the entrance/exit of dedicated HGV parks - all of which can be far from ideal, and in some cases, simply illegal. In a recently posted statement, the German road hauliers' association spokesperson has openly blamed politicians for neglecting drivers' needs and creating dangerous circumstances for them.
The German Federal Association of Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal (Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung – BGL) denounces a threatening road safety-related and overall social development in Germany, the statement says.
The rant comes after the plan of a much-needed lorry park on the A61 motorway was “torpedoed” by local politicians.
BGL reminds politicians that there is already a lack of around 40,000 HGV parking spaces along the autobahns nationwide that would make it possible for all drivers to comply with the statutory rest periods.
At the same time, more than 70 per cent of all goods are transported by road, and according to predictions, road freight will continue to be the main mean of transport until well beyond 2050.
“Sitting out the parking problem is therefore not a realistic option,” BGL sharply notes.
BGL Board Spokesman Prof. Dr. Dirk Engelhardt openly blames politicians for preventing HGV park constructions:
“Nationwide, local politicians repeatedly prevent the expansion of truck parking spaces, which are essential for road safety, with sometimes absurd arguments that I don’t want to repeat here. However, only well-rested HGV drivers are safe HGV drivers – these gentlemen either do not seem to be aware of this or do not seem to care. The main thing is that the Christmas presents are under the Christmas tree in time!”
The spokesperson adds that for local politicians, it seems to be unimportant that the people who bring the gifts to the shops or to their front door should be able to observe their legally binding rest periods – which are essential for traffic safety reasons.
“When I see, how every evening all th HGV parks along the motorways are bursting at the seams so much that truck drivers are forced to park their vehicles in the most adventurous places to avoid a fine, I have my doubts. Doubts as to whether, we, in this country, are still sufficiently capable of recognizing connections and drawing the appropriate conclusions from them”, Engelhardt rants, referring to the trend that people are buying more items online, which results in more HGVs on the roads – that need more HGV parks.
And his concluding thoughts are just as outspoken as the former:
“German political representatives have far more understanding for migrant workers in China or foreign construction workers in distant Qatar than for truck drivers here in Germany. Such local politicians are also responsible for the fact that fewer and fewer people want to do the job behind the wheel of a truck.”