A further £16.5m is being spent on improving lorry parking facilities and increasing spaces for HGVs across England, the department for transport (DfT) has announced.

Roads minister Guy Opperman said 38 truckstops will be upgraded with new showers and restaurants, as well as better lighting and secure fencing so drivers can feel safer and sleep with greater peace of mind.

The measures also mean 430 new parking spaces will be created.

The DfT said the investment was part of a plan to grow the economy by improving the working conditions for HGV drivers.

The improvements will also include installing new chargepoints to power electric trucks.

The DfT will invest £6m and a further £10.5m comes from the industry, building on the £19m joint funding announced last September for similar work.

Opperman said: “Our lorry drivers are the backbone of a successful economy, ensuring food, goods and crucial medical supplies can get where they need to be, all over the country.

“That’s why it’s only right we leave no stone unturned when it comes to supporting our lorry drivers as part of our plan to grow the economy, and today’s £16.5 million in joint government and industry funding will provide them with the safe, spacious and modern facilities they deserve.”

Jonathan Walker, head of cities and infrastructure policy at Logistics UK, said: “This is much needed progress for the drivers in our industry 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.

“Effective partnership between the government and industry is crucial to solving this problem. This funding will help to provide safer, better facilities for drivers and should be seen as a step forward on the journey towards quality, nationwide provision of first class rest stops.”

The RHA said the investment would make a tangible difference to the experiences of lorry drivers: “We are pleased to see facilities operators contribute funding and commit to improving security and conditions at the sites they operate,” said Declan Pang, RHA director of policy and public affairs.

“We look forward to seeing the positive impact the funding will have across the range of projects.”

Ron Perry, owner of Ron Perry A19 Services at Elwick, said: “The DfT welfare grant scheme goes a long way towards realising our ambitious project of delivering modern, secure and appealing facilities for lorry drivers to park overnight.

“Without the grant from the department, this project simply would not be viable for us. We very much look forward to delivering the improvements so that we can provide lorry drivers with the fantastic facilities they deserve.”