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Lorry Parks

Volume 884: debated on Wednesday 15 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has for establishing a network of lorry parks.

I am considering what more can be done to bring about the establishment of a network of lorry parks following a recent meeting in my Department of those concerned.

Does the Minister agree that it was always an urgent necessity to have more lorry parks but that it has now become all the more urgent because of his recently announced decision to curtail motorways and other major roads, which means that lorries will continue to use unsuitable streets and will have to be parked at night in residential areas? Will he therefore try to get a move on in establishing this important chain of lorry parks?

I agree that it is desirable to make progress on the national network, but there have been initial difficulties in getting suitable sites. More recently there have been doubts whether such a scheme could be commercially viable. As regards parking in residential streets, I remind the hon. Gentleman that local authorities have extensive powers. I understand that within his constituency the local authorities concerned, Enfield and the GLC, are looking at various schemes.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, far from providing new sites, there is an attempt on the part of many local authorities to curtail existing lorry parks? They are turning them over to private residential car parks and forbidding the parking of lorries. There is hardly any point in introducing restrictions on drivers' hours if one makes them drive longer distances to find somewhere to park for the night.

If my hon. Friend will let me know of any particular difficulties, I will see what I can do. I stress, however, that local authorities are entitled to make decisions for themselves in matters within their jurisdiction, and this would appear to be such a category.