UETR: urgent need for secure lorry parks and harmonised EU lorry park standard
The European Road Haulers Association (UETR) has stressed there is an urgent need to construct secure lorry parking areas in Europe. The organisation also wants to see a defined EU standard for Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPAs) so as to ensure the quality of parking facilities is levelled across the EU.
In a statement, the UETR made it clear that the aforementioned actions are an urgent priority:
We, the undersigned associations, representing freight forwarders, logistics service providers, insurance companies, secure parking operators and road transport operators, underline the urgent need to move forward with the construction of new Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPAs) in the EU and a harmonised EU SSTPA Standard, with clear and unambiguous rules on security, safety and comfort levels for these SSTPAs. With this in mind, we strongly support the announcement for future funding for SSTPAs through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF II).
Explaining why these facilities need to be built, the UETR states that truck drivers in Europe are often confronted with insufficient parking capacity or inadequate facilities, as well as a lack of information on such facilities.
As a result of this, the UETR says truckers often have no other option than to park in non-secured zones or unsafe locations. At the same time, the organisation notes that cargo theft in Europe continues to increase, putting drivers at risk and exposing companies to losses.
In view of this critical situation for drivers and businesses, the UETR believes that an EU SSTPA Standard is urgently needed to address the demand for truck parking areas in the EU. The organisation also claims that offering sufficient quality and quantity of secure parking facilities will contribute to making the lorry driving profession more attractive.
An EU SSTPA Standard is to become part of EU law through a Delegated Act in the remit of the EU Driving and rest time rules included in Mobility Package 1.
The UETR believes the standard is the best way to improve driver security and working conditions:
A harmonised EU Standard, containing clear and unambiguous rules on security, safety and comfort levels, will be key to successfully address the current shortcomings and will be the best way forward for Europe, to resolutely improve driver’s security and working conditions. The EU standard should enhance transparency, build trust and facilitate private sector investments for SSTPAs, as they will be eligible to CEF funding, providing they fulfil the EU SSTPA Standards.
Moreover, to meet the EU’s demand for parking areas, the UETR says there is an urgent need for more funding to support the new SSTPAs along the TEN-T network. The organisation adds that the new funding call within the Connecting Europe Facility will be important when it comes to securing investments in smart, sustainable and safe mobility in the EU.
Considering the high investment costs for secure parking areas, we believe that it is essential that sufficient funding is allocated to the construction of new SSTPAs, as well as the upgrading of existing ones. Combined with the harmonised user-friendly EU SSTPA standard, appropriate funding will be essential to incentivise new investments to counter the existing shortage of SSTPAs along the TEN-T core and comprehensive network. We therefore look forward to upcoming funding possibilities which will support business to eventually meet the urgent need for sufficient safe and secure parking areas in Europe.