RHA speaks up at publication of Motorway Services User Survey

Yesterday (1 August 2019), Transport Focus published the results of their 2019 Motorway Services User Survey at an event in South Mimms.

The RHA’s Head of Licensing and Infrastructure, Tom Cotton, spoke at the event. He confirmed the importance of motorway service areas to those in the haulage industry, whose workplace is the road. “Motorway and trunk road service areas are the watering holes and bunkhouses for HGV drivers.”

Tom explained that because of their work, HGV drivers probably spend more time at motorway service areas than any other group. Therefore, its crucial these working conditions are attractive, so the industry can address the current shortfall of drivers and attract new talent.

Tom quoted the Department for Transport’s 2018 National Survey of Lorry Parking, which identified a shortfall of 3,000 lorry parking spaces each night on the Strategic Road Network as well as a 5km corridor either side. But he clarified, “we actually think that’s nearer 11,000, so the amount of investment that needs to go into service areas really needs to be increased.”

Identifying safety and security as another key area for hauliers, Tom pointed out that £42 million worth of goods were stolen from HGVs last year according to the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service. He said it was essential that drivers can pull into a service area without fear of being the victim of crime.

He finished by encouraging service operators to seek the RHA’s help when considering planning applications for sites, so the Association can help them overcome obstacles.

Afterwards, Tom said, “I really appreciate the opportunity Transport Focus gave the RHA to talk about infrastructure issues that affect operators and drivers, also to be able to give a road freight perspective about the problems drivers encounter”.

Also attending the event, Chrys Rampley, Manager of Infrastructure and Security at the RHA said, “This was a great opportunity to catch up with the MSA Operators and to hear their plans for new builds, extensions and improvements to existing sites. Of special interest was the increase in HGV provisions at a number of sites across England and that this need is now being recognised.”

The report surveyed 11,609 motorway service visitors at 111 of England’s 112 MSAs. Overall the report found that satisfaction remains high at 90 percent, but fewer visitors described themselves as very satisfied compared to last year’s survey.

In terms of trucks, the report went on to say, “HGV drivers continued to be less satisfied with facilities offered specifically for them, such as parking and showers than they are with other aspects.”

A reported 60 percent of visitors to HGV facilities thought the amount of parking was either ‘very good’ or ‘fairly good’. This number dropped to 46 percent when respondents were asked what they thought of the showers, with 21 percent responding, ‘very good’ and 25 percent saying, ‘fairly good’.

Parking value for money received the lowest level of positive feedback. Just 17 percent of people asked thought the value was ‘very good’ and 22 percent said, ‘fairly good’.

See the full report yourself on the Transport Focus website.

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