Overseas lorry drivers who illegally park in Thurrock could feature in a BBC documentary.
By Steve Neale
BBC Local Democracy Reporters Scheme
THURROCK Council announced a crack down last year after complaints that large numbers of HGVs are overnighting on pavements and double yellow lines – sometimes leaving litter and human waste behind.
Although fines are issued, some drivers can leave the country without paying.
Council leader Rob Gledhill told a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night that he had been out with police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency making checks on lorries. A number were seized for non payment of fines.
“One operation was filmed by an agency for the BBC,” he said. “We hope it will become a documentary to show what can be done to tackle this.”
Mr Gledhill explained how recent operations involved non payment of more than £50,000 in unpaid fines.
He added: “This is something we need to continue – £12,000 was taken from one company because money was owed in parking fines. This is unfair on the HGV who park legally.”
The crack down was sparked by resident complaints in Ockendon, particularly around Arisdale Avenue. There are also concerns that overweight lorries are damaging weak bridge, including the railway crossing in Stifford Road.
Public tensions have risen over rising numbers of lorries using the borough since the expansion of London Gateway Port and Logistics Park. A number of HGV learner schools also use Ockendon and surrounding roads for driver training, although there is no suggestion those companies are responsible for the illegal parking.
Council information released in October 2017 under Freedom of Information revealed 30 penalty charge notices had been issued in South Ockendon’s Arisdale Avenue, and 18 in Daiglen Drive in the last nine months over HGV drivers ignoring no waiting signs.
Thurrock Council first agreed last year to partner Essex Police in tackling the problem. Hand-outs, maps, and translation services were used to redirect drivers to legal parking areas.
Council leader Rob Gledhill said at the time: “We can’t ignore the litter and human waste that is often left behind after HGVs have been parked up.
“There are plenty of places across the borough with litter bins and toilets that are built specifically to give our HGV drivers a rest and a place to sort themselves out – those places are not down our streets with schools and homes.”
Yellow lines and parking restrictions are enforced by Thurrock Council.
Road obstruction and overweight lorries are enforced by Essex Police.