HC Deb 26 January 1988 vol 126 cc139-40W
Mr. David Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to encourage the provision of adequate resting and refreshment facilities for commercial lorry drivers on Britain's roads, in the light of the decline in such provision;

(2) what steps are being taken to encourage the building of refreshment establishments on Britain's trunk roads that cater for the drivers of heavy goods vehicles.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

We are shortly to have meetings with representatives of the local authority associations arid the private sector about steps to stimulate further provision of facilities.

Our general policy on provision of service areas on English trunk roads was set out in answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Mr. Forth) on 1 July 1987 at column 88.

On motorways, our aim is to provide service areas at approximately 30-mile intervals. They are required to provide, for 24 hours of the day, toilets, refreshments, telephones and fuel for all motorway travellers, including drivers of heavy goods vehicles. Operators are free to agree parking stays of over two hours and may charge a fee. HGV drivers frequently rest overnight in their sleeper cabs. Operators are providing overnight accommodation blocks on many of the sites.

On all-purpose trunk roads, the provision of services, including those for heavy goods vehicles, is primarily for the private sector within the framework of local planning policies. We want to see the needs of HGV drivers met.

Responsibility for roads other than trunk roads lies with the local highway authority.

Mr. David Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to outlaw the display of signs at refreshment establishments which refuse admittance to drivers of heavy goods vehicles.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

We could not reasonably ban display of any road traffic sign which indicates that a particular service area is not for heavy goods vehicles. Some service areas off motorways do not have the capacity to take such vehicles. We have no jurisdiction over signs displayed by proprietors on their own property.