shutterstock_1465501295 (1)

A government ban on truck drivers taking any break other than a 45-minute rest period in seven Kent boroughs from January next year has been slammed by the freight industry.

Any truck driver who ignores the ban, which comes into force on 1 January, will face a £150 fine.

The temporary ban comes as the government braces for lengthy post-Brexit queues on Kent roads headed to and from the Channel Ports.

Logistics UK is calling on the DfT to withdraw the ban “immediately.”

Heidi Skinner, Logistics UK policy manager for the south, said: “Logistics UK is very frustrated the DfT and Kent Country Council have failed to consider the welfare of lorry drivers in this decision.

“Access to places to rest is of paramount importance to the workers responsible for keeping goods moving across the UK and further afield; it is also required to meet their legally required rest periods under the drivers’ hours regulation.

Giving only 12 working days’ notice – the ban is enforceable by a £150 fine from 1 January 2021 – is also unacceptable. The ban is applicable to all lorry drivers – those traveling nationally and internationally – and almost all lorry parks in the surrounding area are at critical levels of utilisation.

DfT and KCC have not provided any solution to the lack of space; we are urging them to withdraw the upcoming ban immediately.”