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HGV overnight parking enforcement trial 2017

Commencing Monday 30 October 2017, Ashford Borough Council's Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) will be enforcing an experimental Traffic Regulation Order designed to address the problems caused by the overnight parking of Heavy Goods vehicles (HGVs) in certain locations in the borough

This Experimental Traffic Regulation Order will prohibit the parking of HGVs between 8pm (20:00) and 7am (07:00) the following day. This overnight restriction is in place seven days a week.

The restriction will cover the A20 between and including Charing and the Drovers Roundabout Ashford.

This Experimental Traffic Regulation Order also covers four locations in the borough where there is an existing Overnight HGV parking restriction.

  • The Orbital Park Sevington
  • Ashford Business park Sevington
  • Ellingham Industrial Estate South Ashford
  • Wotton Road South Ashford

The prohibition at these locations is also between 8pm (20:00) and 7am (07:00) the following day.

A weekend HGV parking restriction already exists at Ellingham Industrial Estate and Wotton Road. This weekend restriction will be extended to the Orbital Park and Ashford Business Park Sevington from Monday 30th October 2017.

The weekend restriction prohibits the parking of HGVs at any time over Saturday and Sunday.

There is no daytime or weekend restriction on the A20 this is an overnight restriction only.

As well as receiving a £70 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) any HGV parking in contravention of this Experimental Traffic Regulation Order at any of the above locations will be clamped on the first and every subsequent occasion that they park. The clamp will be removed on payment of the PCN and a release fee.

The Department for Transport has granted Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council as their agents the authority to clamp on the first and every subsequent occasion that an HGV parks in contravention of this Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.

Why is this experimental Traffic Regulation Order being trialled?

The overnight parking of HGVs has been a growing problem throughout the borough and the county for many years.

Areas like this section of the A20 have residential properties nearby. The residents of these properties are subjected to the noise from parked HGV refrigeration units and the anti-social behaviour of some drivers depositing litter and using the surrounding areas as toilets. There are also Road Safety issues as HGVs are often parked in dangerous locations and causing an obstruction.

The same anti-social behaviour of some drivers who leave behind human waste and litter is a huge problem on some industrial estates. The sheer numbers of HGVs parking on some of these industrial estates causes congestion, restricts parking for other users, obstructs business entrances and impedes the free flow of traffic. 

Why are we clamping on the first occasion an HGV parks in contravention of the overnight parking restriction?

The registered keepers of many of the HGVs that park sometimes persistently in contravention of these restrictions are from countries where we have no access to registered keeper details. Because of this, it is difficult to chase unpaid fines and a majority remain unpaid reducing the deterrent effect of issuing a Penalty Charge.

Will HGVs be displaced into other areas including residential areas?

Displacement parking is always a concern. This is why this is a trial and why it is restricted to a comparatively small section of the A20 and industrial estates where in some cases an overnight HGV parking restriction has been in place for many years. In the case of the Orbital Park and Ashford Business Park Sevington there has been a restriction since 2004.

As with the clamping trial conducted by Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council in 2015 our officers will be closely monitoring all displacement parking.

To minimise displacement from the A20 into nearby residential areas the HGV parking restriction extends into sections of adjoining roads. 

What do I do if I see an HGV parked in one of these areas or in a residential area? Is there a number I can ring?

Ashford Borough Council's Civil Enforcement Officers will be prioritising enforcement of this Experimental Traffic Regulation Order and will be patrolling to enforce it at various times through the night and at weekends. They will not however have the capability to respond to individual calls.

If HGVs park dangerously or causing an obstruction anywhere including a residential area the police should be called. Our officers have no powers to move HGVs on and clamping in these circumstances would only exacerbate the problem.

Ashford Borough Council is keen to receive any information and feedback about HGV parking at any time and especially during this trial. If displacement parking or parking in contravention of this Experimental Order were seen, we would ask that this be reported by email to parkingcustomercare@ashford.gov.uk

What if there is nowhere else for the HGVs to park?

We will decide all cases on their merits however; it is ultimately the responsibility of the HGV driver to plan their journey, which includes where they can park. Spaces at truck stops can be booked and availability checked on line.

There will be circumstances where we will not clamp HGVs. These include:

  • HGVs parked in such a position that clamping them and thus immobilising them would impede the free flow of traffic or cause a danger to other road users
  • HGVs parked obstructing any access point to premises
  • HGVs parked in a turning area where clamping them would obstruct the turning area
  • HGVs carrying livestock
  • HGVs carrying perishable goods
  • HGVs displaying a valid Blue Badge

In any other circumstance other than those described above and after considering all the relevant circumstances ABC will decided if it is appropriate or not to clamp an HGV

Will the overnight HGV parking ban be extended to other business parks and industrial estates?

The strategy KCC has adopted to deal with the problem of overnight and weekend HGV parking problems is to increase the provision of off road parking facilities for HGVs alongside more effective enforcement. Ashford borough Council fully supports this strategy. Until there is an increase in parking provision for HGVs any enforcement measures taken need to be measured to minimise the risk of displacement parking in particular into residential areas.

There are no immediate plans to increase the number of industrial estates or business parks that have an overnight HGV parking ban. However as part of the trial our officers will be closely monitoring HGV parking in all other estates not covered by an overnight and weekend HGV parking ban as well as monitoring possible displacement parking into residential areas.

Although there is not a ban on overnight or weekend HGV parking at other industrial estates and business parks in the borough if there are other existing parking restrictions in place these will continue to be enforced. Our officers will continue to monitor associated anti-social behaviour issues. If drivers continue to ignore existing restrictions we will discuss with KCC how we can better enforce compliance.

What can you do if an HGV is parked on private property?

Ashford Borough Council have no powers to deal with HGVs that choose to park on private property. Some businesses in the borough have erected barriers to prevent this problem. We also have no powers to move HGVs or to deal with obstruction offences. These should be referred to the police. Any concerns about intimidation by the drivers of these HGVs should also be referred to the police. Kent Police support the enforcement trial we are conducting and are also very aware of all of the issues pertaining to the overnight and weekend parking of HGVs.

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