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5 October 2017, 07:45
In a UK first Ashford is to trial a new scheme to clamp down on illegally parked lorries in the borough.
The Council will be working together with Kent County Council for the trial which will allow authorities to clamp and fine any drivers parked up overnight along the A20 and several other areas around the area.
It has been developed by working with the Department for Transport (DfT) which agreed to change the current clamping policy for HGV’s so that a clamp can be fitted for first time offences.
Although a ban on lorry parking has been in place at Orbital Park and the Ashford Business Park in Sevington since 2004, enforcement was hindered by limited access to the registered keeper details of some foreign registered HGVs.
This effectively meant that European collection agencies had to be employed to track down drivers and collect the fines.
Now, the authorities will be able clamp lorries, fine them and charge them to remove the clamp.
Kent County Council cabinet member for transport Matthew Balfour said: "I’m delighted that we have been able to work together to get this scheme up and running and help stamp out an issue that is affecting residents lives.
“The order will not allow any overnight parking of HGVs along the A20 between and including Charing and the Drovers Roundabout and this will extend for some distance along adjoining roads to stop HGVs simply moving further on.”
There be lots of advertising in multiple languages in the run up to the scheme’s launch on October 30 to make sure as many people are aware as possible.
Ashford Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety, Cllr Brad Bradford, said: "Although there are many designated truck stops across the county, many areas in Kent - particularly Ashford - have experienced issues with overnight lorry parking on side roads and industrial estates.
“This initiative will ensure that effective enforcement can be taken on lorry drivers who ignore the rules by illegally parking in the borough.
“We hope it will benefit and improve the lives of our residents and businesses who are affected by lorries parking around our businesses parks and on this section of the A20.”
The zones are:
• The A20 between Charing and Ashford
• Wotton Road
• Ellingham Industrial Estate
• The Orbital Park, Sevington
• Ashford Business Park, Sevington
It will run between 8pm and 7am Monday to Friday and 24 hours Saturday and Sunday on the industrial estates.