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Driver Rest Facilities and Lorry Parking

Over recent years HGV driver rest facilities and lorry parking have become increasingly prominent issues facing local authorities. Areas for goods vehicles to stop and park when away from base play a vital role for freight operators to enable their drivers to refresh themselves and maintain their vehicles. 

Driver rest facilities and lorry parking provide an important support service to road freight, particularly for freight companies based outside the region.

Lorry drivers are required to take both daily driving breaks and overnight rest by the European Union Driver Hours Directive 3820/85. In addition to the health, safety and welfare of drivers, inadequate lorry parking provision can have an adverse impact upon other road users, and poor security can put cargo at risk.

Over recent years, lorry park sites have been under pressure from urban development. In these cases it is important to focus on providing effective replacement facilities – alternative sites can often become isolated from food and other facilities needed by visiting drivers.

Well designed and strategically located lorry parks can play a significant role in reducing the mileage run by visiting lorries, promoting driver well-being, helping with efficient deliveries and minimising disruption to communities. 

It is preferable for lorries to be parked at a managed site that offers safe entry and egress and encourages goods vehicles to park in a formal and well designed location, rather parked in roadside lay-bys or on or adjacent to minor roads. Such facilities also provide drivers with food and proper rest facilities which help compliance with drivers' hours regulations, and also contribute towards road safety.

Not one type of facility will fit all needs and therefore the demand from drivers will differ depending on their needs. The location, size and type will also be dependent on the number, frequency and road network etc.

 In order to meet the likely various needs and prevent inappropriate parking it is often necessary to develop several different types of facility. The different types of facility can be labelled under three categories.


  • Free or very low price, parking on lay-by, industrial estate or rough ground, with no security.
  • May or may not have toilet block and/or caravan selling hot food.
  • There would be no other facilities provided; drivers would have most of what they need in the cab.


  • Site with toilet block and shower facilities.
  • A café selling good value for money meals.
  • There would be some facilities for entertainment, possibly a shop and TV lounge.
  • The parking area would normally be lit and reasonably surfaced but may not have many security measures.


  • Good facilities particularly geared to companies wanting vehicles parked at approved secure places.
  • Lighting CCTV security patrols site barrier and perimeter fencing are all important.
  • The meals and driver facilities would be of reasonable quality.

Site Selection Criteria

Common difficulties faced by local authorities are the need to identify agreed sites and the lack of available funding.  Many authorities have also sold or allowed a change of use of authority-owned land previously used for lorry parking.  Where an authority is intending to take such action, consideration should be given to how the parking capacity lost can be replaced.

The following should be taken into consideration:
  • Availability of location.
  • Proximity to area of demand.
  • Proximity to the strategic road network, and substantial volumes of traffic.
  • Good access and egress between the site and the adjacent road network, and to the strategic road network.
  • Sufficient available area for parking and development of facilities.
  • Available space for expansion (should demand increase)
  • Provision of or proximity to appropriate basic facilities.
  • Sufficient immediate separation from other land uses (such as residential)
  • Consistency with land use policy (e.g. Unitary Development Plans)
Taken from the Department of Transport's Local Authority Freight Management Guide.