GROUPS representing thousands of truckers have hit back at claims lorry drivers are causing “a huge problem” by parking overnight in industrial estates.

North East Truckers, which has 5,900 members, and SNAP Account, which works with 70,000 drivers, said North Yorkshire County Council and Hambleton District Council must provide an alternative site to stop before banning overnight parking in business parks.

The authorities have launched a joint working group after claims that scores of truckers are causing issues such as unsanitary waste by parking at industrial estates at Leeming Bar, near Bedale, and Thirsk.

Truckers’ groups said drivers wanted to pay for parking, despite facing fees of £28-a-night to park and shower at the only truck stop in the area, Coneygarth, near Leeming Bar, but it was always full.

They said drivers considered laybys and industrial areas as unsafe, due to cargo and diesel thefts.

Lee Morris, of North East Truckers, said while councillors had raised issues over rubbish on industrial estates, much of it was not due to drivers.

He said while the drivers who park on industrial estates contributed to the area’s night-time economy, they were being treated like social outcasts.

Mr Morris, who parks his lorry on Thirsk Industrial Park, said: “If we get banned from parking there where are we going to go? The current alternatives in the area are not safe.”

He called for a meeting with the councils to discuss the issue.

Mr Morris said: “There is a massive gap in the market for a truck stop in the area, because at the moment we are having to go further and further away from where we need to be.”

Nick Long, of SNAP Account, said: “The whole process can be resolved with an appropriate area which is safe and has facilities and be profitable for the council.

"If the councils start to clamp or put down yellow lines with ticketing, they will only be making the situation worse rather than addressing the issue.”

Truckers, what do you think about this story? Are you treated unfairly?

Truckers, what do you think about this story? Are you treated unfairly?

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Your comments:

Name supplied: "I'm not a trucker, but a local resident to Thirsk industrial estate. Whilst I have some sympathy with the issues facing truckers, the disgusting mess that is constantly left is wholly unacceptable.

"Bottles filled with urine and thrown into hedges and paths and fast food litter are appalling. Truckers want us to respect their need to stay somewhere safe but it's long overdue that they show some respect for the communities where they stay!"

Paul Andrews: "I have lived in Thirsk just about all my life and there has never been a HGV parking area other than those previously mentioned. If you live in Thirsk and are a truck driver then accept the fact that you cannot bring your work home. That has always been the case and is unlikely to change anytime soon."

John Papworth: "They do right and look at how many idiots are moaning they don't want services at junction 50 on the A1. What a joke. Poor HGV drivers they are the backbone and yet people moan about them parking in retail parks or ANYWHERE they can."

Name supplied: "The drivers are making the roads dangerous by parking up on the industrial estate. Their journeys should be planned so they arrive close to drop off time.  If they would like services and facilities etc. off road, perhaps they can find it themselves or by their companies.  Roads are made for moving. Definitely not to be a free hotel for the night."