THE boss of one of the UK’s leading transport businesses has urged councils to show more consideration to the needs of drivers who deliver and supply firms in their areas.

Ken Devereux, of Billingham-based Devereux Transport and Distribution, has issued the appeal to local authorities after learning Hambleton District Council was combating lorry drivers’ antisocial behaviour with a Public Space Protection Order at Leeming Bar Industrial Estate, and will consider another order at Thirsk Industrial Estate.

The authority’s leading members approved the measure, which could see drivers fined if they are found to be staying in their vehicles overnight, after years of complaints residents about the foul mess some lorry drivers leave outside homes.

Councillors said the order would be trialled for six months, as they were aware the ban could simply lead to drivers parking outside the zone rather than at designated lorry parks with suitable overnight facilities, 

They added multi-agency discussions over the issue on the industrial estates and surrounding streets had failed to come up with an alternative solution and insisted that there were available spaces for lorries to park within a short drive of the Leeming Bar estate.

Mr Devereux, whose firm was established in 1937 and employs 165 staff, said while every reasonably sized town used to have a specific lorry park, very few now had one.

He said: “If a lorry driver is parking overnight in a truck park, he might be parked next to a truck having a statutory mid-shift break of 45 minutes, so trucks are arriving and departing at all times through the night. A industrial estate might offer a peaceful area to park, albeit with no facilities whatsoever.

“Scattered across most countries in Europe are places where lorry drivers can park overnight and include basic facilities. This county I am afraid still treats the lorry driver with little respect and local councils provide little in the way of facilities and that has been the case for many years when most councils had vast financial surpluses, some perhaps gained by selling off the lorry parks for development.

“Whilst I agree totally for respect to be shown by lorry drivers to the area they might be overnight parking at, please local councillors spare a thought to providing facilities for people visiting your town in the course of their employment to either deliver or collect goods.”

He called for a concerted effort to tackle the issue.