Highways England to 'develop' planning advisory role to tackle lorry park shortage

Strategic roads body Highways England is to 'develop' its role in helping councils to 'actively' identify areas of lorry parking need, after a survey found a 'strategic national need' for more lorry parking.

Lorry parks: national need for new facilities

Last week, the Department for Transport published its National Review of Lorry Parking, which sought to capture data on the shortfall of lorry parking facilities nationally.

The survey found that that demand for lorry parking exceeds, or is close to exceeding, current capacity in the East Midlands, East of England, North East, South East, West Midlands and South West.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said that transport minister Jesse Norman and planning minister Dominic Raab have written to local planning authorities to "draw their attention to the survey results, which show a strategic national need for more lorry parking and highlight shortages in specific areas".

It said that the survey "will help local planning authorities to understand the nature of the issue better, at both a regional and local level".

In addition, the letter said Norman has asked Highways England "to develop their existing role as a statutory consultee on all proposed developments that are on or that directly affect the strategic road network".

It said that, in future, "Highways England will seek to use their unique network-wide perspective to assist local authorities in actively identifying areas of lorry parking need and potential solutions, including in the context of specific planning applications where these might help alleviate the situation".

Elsewhere, the statement said that Highways England has begun to analyse its land holdings "in order to identify sites with the potential to be developed into lorry parks".

It said that "initial work suggests that this might facilitate a total of around 1,500 additional parking spaces nationwide" and that "detailed feasibility work will be undertaken in the next six months".