DfT quashes calls for LRUC money to improve truck parking

Kent County Council’s demands for money raised from the forthcoming lorry charge to fund its parking problems have been rebuffed by the Department for Transport.

Cabinet member for highways, Councillor Bryan Sweetland, says that half of the estimated £25m a year raised through the lorry road user charge (LRUC) would be enough to pay for a solution to Operation Stack and HGV parking problems in Kent. And he says the government should give some of the money made from the LRUC for a long term solution on “moral grounds”.

Sweetland says: “This could either be a lorry park or smaller parks with facilities. But whatever option we pursue, we still need to find funding otherwise it’s not possible.

“We’ve been calling for a foreign lorry tax for years. The DfT has a moral responsibility to Kent seeing as nine out of ten lorries come through here.”

In April a Kent homeowner who says drivers regularly defecate and urinate in his garden also said the government should provide a solution because the problem was a social issue that was being ignored.

However, a DfT spokeswoman tells Commercialmotor.com that funding Kent’s transport problems using LRUC cash is not an option: “Any funds that would come from a tax like that would go to the Treasury and then be divvied up from there. It would be our policy decision [on where it’s spent], but it’s just not something that is being considered at the moment.”