Clamping increased as illegal lorry parking continues

Council contractors employed to clamp lorries have been given increased powers in a bid to stamp out illegal parking. Fed-up officials are taking action in Ashford as HGV drivers continue to park overnight in the borough.

Orbital Park in Sevington is included in the ban

Orbital Park in Sevington is included in the ban

Orbital Park in Sevington is included in the ban

Since the start of the month, Ashford Borough Council's contractor has been able to issue enforcement notices - the document drivers have to pay - for illegally parked vehicles on a trial basis. The scheme means that a clamp can be fitted to HGVs committing a first-time offence.

Bosses say this gives the authority more flexibility in clamping vehicles as the contractor will no longer need a civil enforcement officer to be present, allowing staff to cover a wider area.

The scheme was first introduced in 2017 as a collaboration between ABC, Kent County Council (KCC) and Department for Transport (DfT).

Lorries have been clamped in Ashford since 2017

Lorries have been clamped in Ashford since 2017

Lorries have been clamped in Ashford since 2017

The areas included in the overnight lorry parking enforcement, which runs between 8pm and 7am Monday to Sunday, are:

  • The A20 between Charing and Ashford
  • Wotton Road
  • Ellingham Industrial Estate
  • The Orbital Park, Sevington
  • Ashford Business Park, Sevington

ABC's deputy leader Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con) 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 new trial will ensure that even more effective enforcement can be taken on lorry drivers who ignore the rules by illegally parking in the borough.

The Henwood Industrial Estate is not included in the ban

The Henwood Industrial Estate is not included in the ban

The Henwood Industrial Estate is not included in the ban

"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." Since the original scheme was introduced, more than 4,300 illegally parked vehicles have been clamped.

The permission to clamp for this period and at these locations only was agreed by the Department for Transport, bosses say.

The Henwood Industrial Estate, where drivers regularly park, is not included in the ban.

Earlier this year, Europe's largest truck stop opened on Waterbrook Park in Ashford, featuring 650 spaces.