A £19m funding drive aimed at providing more secure parking and improved rest areas for lorry drivers has been announced today (11 September).

A total of 39 roadside facility operators across England will each receive a share of £8m from the department and a further £11m from industry to significantly upgrade truck stops for lorry drivers.

The funding will boost HGV parking capacity, provide better security for drivers and enhance welfare facilities such as showers, rest areas and restaurants. 

The government's share of the funding comes from its HGV Parking and Driver Welfare Grant Scheme and forms part of a £100m joint investment between government and industry to support the logistics sector.

Today also marks the launch of the second window for roadside facility operators to bid for further funding to continue improving lorry roadside facilities across England. The window will close on 20 November 2023. 

The measure is part of the Government’s 33 actions to address the shortage of HGV drivers and boost recruitment and retention.

Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “Day and night, our lorry drivers and hauliers work tirelessly to deliver essential food, goods and medical supplies up and down the country.

“As we continue supporting the haulage sector in playing their crucial role in helping to grow the economy, these first winners will help ensure lorry drivers have great facilities where they can safely park, sleep and rest.”

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The scheme draws on The National Survey on Lorry Parking which provided evidence on the level of improvements needed and where to improve roadside infrastructure.

In total, both government and industry will look to spend up to £100m through to March 2025 to improve lorry roadside facilities for drivers. 

Logistics UK policy director, Kate Jennings, said: "Today’s announcement will be welcome news for the professional drivers using the UK’s roads network, who are often forced to take legally mandated rest breaks in their cabs, without access to hygiene facilities, due to a chronic lack of welfare provision on key routes.

"This announcement is a positive step forward and our members operating in England will welcome the planned improvements to accessible facilities for them to access during the course of their working days.”

The government’s 33 actions to support Britain’s haulage sector include investing £34m to create up to 11,000 HGV driver training places through Skills Bootcamps, and increasing the number of HGV driver tests by 90% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Richard Smith, RHA managing director, said: “We are pleased that the first tranche of grants has been announced and that lorry drivers will soon benefit from the improvements this scheme is helping to fund.

“We would encourage other operators to apply for funding to help them upgrade too. Better facilities, and more safe and secure parking for truckers are a key priority for our industry.”

Mike Heaton, Certas Energy UK head of estate development  roadside services, added: “Enhancing driver welfare and ensuring that hauliers have somewhere safe, clean and secure to park their vehicles is a leading priority of our business - and the DfT funding is a vital step in giving drivers the facilities they deserve. DfT has Certas Energy’s ongoing support on their mission to improve driver facilities.”