Roadchef has rolled out a package of measures for HGV drivers to ensure they are supported during the COVID-19 crisis, including doubling the free parking period at all its locations.

The motorway service area (MSA) operator said professional drivers were relying on its services more than ever, particularly now that the government had relaxed drivers’ hours regulations.

It said its locations were “working around the clock” to offer key workers a place to rest and that its showers, toilets and retail stores remained open.

Roadchef said it had also doubled the free parking period to four hours and reduced the 24-hour HGV parking charge to a £15 flat rate.

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It has also installed free-to-use microwaves at all locations, so drivers can heat up their own food or purchase from a range of microwavable meals.

The MSA is also trialling a range of hot food options, cooked fresh daily at Watford Gap, Strensham and Maidstone, with breakfast options to follow.

If the trial is successful then Roadchef will roll out hot meals to over 25 of its locations.

Mark Fox, chief executive of Roadchef, said: “We recognise that HGV drivers are the backbone of the UK’s supply chain, providing vital goods and equipment across the country.

“As such, we feel it’s imperative to support them and other key workers during this challenging time, to ensure they have the ability to carry out their essential work.”