More secure parking lots for trucks in Europe? Brussels finally has a plan

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More secure parking lots for trucks in Europe? Brussels finally has a plan
fot. Trans.INFO

The problem of the lack of parking lots and an even greater shortage of safe parking spaces in Europe is well known to drivers. Brussels finally has a ready plan of action.

According to the international transport organization IRU, the annual loss caused by cargo thefts in Europe is 6-7 billion euros. For the past year, the Association has been working with the European Commission on a study aimed at defining common standards for safe parking lots for trucks and accelerating the development of parking infrastructure across the European Union. Last week, the European Commission presented preliminary conclusions, an action plan and revealed the budget allocated to its implementation. This study will be published later this year.

New standards in parking lots are a necessity

The EC plan assumes modernization of the existing LABEL standard and striving for further adjustment of certification processes in the area of car parks for trucks in the EU. Brussels, together with the international organization of carriers, IRU, the German Association of Technical Appraisers DEKRA, and experts in the industry, develop standards for safe parking lots for trucks („Safe and Secure Truck Park Area”, abbreviated SSTPA).

According to the IRU, new standards are necessary to reduce the theft of cargo in Europe.

This new standard for the certification of parking lots for trucks is absolutely necessary to improve the working conditions in our sector and to solve the serious problem of lack of drivers in the EU. This is an opportunity that governments and the private sector cannot miss,” said Matthias Medge, who heads IRU activities in the EU.

At the same time, Medge stressed that despite several initiatives at EU and national level to create safer parking lots for trucks, the transport sector is still suffering from a serious shortage of suitable car parks for trucks in Europe.

Drivers should be able to rest in a comfortable place that meets the relevant standards, without worrying about their own safety, vehicle and cargo. The EU and governments should give a much higher priority to the fight against cargo theft,” he added.

SSTPA pilot in several countries

The SSTPA standards have already been implemented in several pilot parking lots. These include Béziers in southern France, Barcelona in Spain and Lugoj in Romania. These car parks offer certain minimum equipment in terms of catering and sanitary facilities, as well as adequate lighting, camera surveillance and security.

This unified standard is a necessary step towards improving the working conditions of drivers and transport safety,” said Lothar Weihofen, head of the Dekra Business Assurance during the presentation of the plan to introduce SSTP in Brussels.

„The decisive factor for a successful implementation is the neutral control and certification of resting places by an independent third party in order to establish a consistent level of security across Europe,” he added.

Here is one of the car parks with new EU standards:

178 million euros for the development of parking facilities

The European Commission is planning to allocate significant resources to expand and improve the safety of parking lots. A total of 178 million euros will be given to companies that decide to create secure car parks for trucks based on SSTPA standards.

Thanks to this co-financing, appropriate parking spaces should arrive at a much faster pace than before. Brussels is convinced that by standardizing guarded parking lots and increasing their number, drivers will use them more willingly. This opinion is not shared by the Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen, who suggested that a penalty should be imposed for parking outside the guarded car park if it is in the area.

New levels of security for the TAPA organization

The new security standards were also introduced by the TAPA organization (Technology Asset Protection Association), which brings together nearly 600 producers of consumer goods from around the world. TAPA regularly publishes reports in which it records the number of thefts of cargo reported by its members. Up to 70 percent of thefts happen at unguarded parking lots.

The organization also applies a parking certification program in terms of safety standards (Parking Security Requirements – PRS) and has recently introduced grades 1 and 2. So far, parking lots could participate in the program only meeting the third grade standards, or become a TAPA partner.

Importantly, TAPA will also release an application that will help determine the number of thefts frequency on a given route and choose the nearest parking lot from the PRS program.

ESPORG security certificates

TAPA, like IRU, belongs to ESPORG, a non-profit organization that brings together secure car parks in Europe. The aim of ESPORG is to create a network that will allow drivers to drive safely and stop on routes across Europe. The organization grants safety certificates on levels from 1 to 5.


Currently, none of the car parks in Europe meets the requirements for obtaining the highest certificate – the „high five”. However, there are several objects that meet the requirements for the 4th level. Last year, the first one in Belgium (Kalken) was opened. In Poland, Truck Arena Grójec obtained the ESPORG certificate for the level 4 car park three years ago.

You can find a map with ESPORG certified parking lots on the official website of the organization.

The app helps you find a secure parking lot

Finding the right place for accommodation is sometimes impossible, which is why the application can be helpful for drivers. Thanks to it, you can check whether the parking lot is full and equipped with cameras.

Photo: Trans.INFO

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