The RHA has accused Kent County Council (KCC) of “an abuse of process” following its attempt to permanently ban HGVs from stopping on roads in the county.
A temporary ban introduced in January in seven Kent boroughs was widely criticised, with Logistics UK complaining that both the DfT and the council had failed to consider the welfare of lorry drivers.
The move was seen as necessary to avoid lengthy post-Brexit queues when the UK exited the European Union. Truck drivers pulling up to take any break other than a 45-minute rest face a £150 fine.
But KCC has now launched a consultation to make the draconian order permanent and prohibit vehicles over 5 tonnes from waiting on any road in the boroughs of Ashford, Maidstone, Swale and the districts of Canterbury, Dover, Thanet and Folkestone & Hythe.
In its consultation response, the RHA said the plans disregarded the need for parking by HGV drivers to ensure road safety and a reasonable working environment.
It said the council’s strategy was “an attack on the dignity of drivers who day in and day out deliver the goods that the people and businesses of Kent need.”
Tom Cotton, RHA head of licensing and infrastructure policy, told motortransport.co.uk that the plans were “ludicrous”.
He said: “Lorries will be displaced to Sussex and elsewhere and then those counties will want similar powers and then HGVs won’t be able to park anywhere in the UK. Kent County Council says it’s road safety oriented, but if a driver wanted to check their vehicle they risk being fined or clamped.
“It seems ministers and county council officials don’t understand.
“It’s an absolutely ludicrous position,” he added. “I would go as far as to say it’s an abuse of process. It’s total hypocrisy all round.”
A KCC spokesperson said it was “grateful to the Road Haulage Association for feeding in their views which will be fully considered before any final decisions are reached".
The spokesperson added: “As the consultation document makes clear, the proposed ban is to deter illegal and anti-social parking to help keep Kent moving and support and protect our residents and communities.”
The RHA is encouraging hauliers to respond to the consultation, which ends on 3 July.