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Illegally parked lorries in Ashford to be clamped as part of unique council scheme

PUBLISHED: 12:24 04 October 2017

Lorry parked by road

Lorry parked by road

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The initiative is being launched on October 30

Lorries parking illegally on key roads and sites around Ashford will be clamped as part of the first scheme of its kind in the UK.

Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council have joined forces as part of the scheme which will operate on the A20 between Charing and Ashford, Wotton Road, Ellingham Industrial Estate and the Orbital Park and Ashford Business Park in Sevington.

The project has been developed by working with the Department for Transport, which has agreed to change the current clamping policy for HGVs so that a clamp can be fitted for first time offences.

Although a ban on lorry parking has been in place at Orbital Park and the Ashford Business Park since 2004, enforcement was hindered by limited access to the registered keeper details of some foreign-registered HGVs.

This effectively meant that European collection agencies had to be employed to track down drivers and collect the fines.

Ahead of the launch on October 30, highways chiefs will advertise the scheme in multiple languages, while Kent Police will support the initiative in its first week.

Eurotunnel, Dover Docks and all nearby truck stops have been briefed about the order and its implications.

Ashford’s Parking Civil Enforcement Team will also be issuing warning notices to any HGV parked in areas where enforcement will be taking place.

It emerged earlier this year that there were more than 5,000 cases of illegal and anti-social lorry parking in Kent in just 18 months.

KCC’s cabinet member for transport, Matthew Balfour, said: “Under this new scheme we can clamp lorries that are flouting the ban, fine them and charge them to remove the clamp.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to work together to get this scheme up and running and help stamp out an issue that is affecting residents lives.

“The order will not allow any overnight parking of HGVs along the A20 between and including Charing and the Drovers Roundabout and this will extend for some distance along adjoining roads to stop HGVs simply moving further on.”

Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety, Brad Bradford, added: “Although there are many designated truck stops across the county, many areas in Kent – particularly Ashford – have experienced issues with overnight lorry parking on side roads and industrial estates.

“Our experience in enforcement has seen KCC choose Ashford to work alongside them as part of this UK initiative.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with KCC to help enforce the new scheme, and we hope it will show positive results, like Ashford’s pilot clamping scheme did in 2015.

“This initiative will ensure that effective enforcement can be taken on lorry drivers who ignore the rules by illegally parking in the borough.

“We hope it will benefit and improve the lives of our residents and businesses who are affected by lorries parking around our businesses parks and on this section of the A20.”

The scheme will run between 8pm and 7am Monday to Friday, and 24 hours Saturday and Sunday on the industrial estates.

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