Ron Perry

Ron Perry & Son says sites near regional economic centres help it support regional transport and haulage networks

Exelby Services and Ron Perry & Son are two of the companies to receive funding to make truckstops better for HGV drivers.

Truck drivers across England will benefit from more parking spaces, better welfare facilities and safer rest areas thanks to £16.5m in joint government and industry investment.

The Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, confirmed that 38 truckstops across England will share £6m from the Department for Transport (DfT), with a further £10.5m coming from industry, to significantly improve their facilities for lorry drivers.

The upgrades will include new showers and restaurants, as well as better lighting and secure fencing around rest areas so drivers can feel safer and sleep with greater peace of mind. The measures will also create around 430 new parking spaces for HGVs to free up local roads.

Ron Perry, managing director of Hartlepool-based Ron Perry & Son, says: “Our commitment to this project is twofold: addressing immediate shortages and laying the groundwork for future growth. By enhancing security, adding capacity and prioritising driver welfare, we’re setting new standards in the industry. Our strategic location near regional economic centres underscores our role in supporting regional transport and haulage networks.

“We’re thrilled about this investment that will enable us to support major developments around Teesworks, the Freeport, and the new Amazon warehouse in Wynyard. Our expanded HGV parking facilities will play a crucial role in supporting these economic hubs. With the growing demand for logistics services, it’s essential to address the shortage of secure overnight parking spaces for HGVs.”

Exelby Services has been approved match funding by the Department for Transport for two of its sites in Yorkshire: with up to £175,000 for its Coneygarth Services, near Northallerton, and up to £315,000 for its Whitwood Truckstop in Castleford, for truck parking, security and driver welfare improvements.

At the Coneygarth site this will include building a gym extension, additional truck parking bays, improved truck park security and the introduction of a food prep kitchen to expand its hot food range.

At the Whitwood Truckstop the truck park will be resurfaced, given additional lighting and security, there will be a renovation of the toilets, showers and drivers’ restaurant/café, and the introduction of a gym, and also solar panels.

Managing director Rob Exelby says he is grateful to the DfT for helping his business provide critical infrastructure and driver welfare facilities. “The return on investment for truck parking and associated facilities is vastly longer than our adjacent retail and forecourt developments,” he says.

“This funding allows us to bring forward much needed renovations and upgrades to support our truck and professional driver services and facilities at the sites. We can’t wait to get started with the upgrades and we hope that by the end of 2024, our services will once again provide class leading truck parking, security and driver welfare.”

Opperman says the measures are part of a plan to grow the economy by improving working conditions for lorry drivers, supporting new jobs in the haulage industry and attracting more people towards a career in logistics.

The improvements will also help decarbonise the haulage sector by installing new chargepoints to power electric HGVs and solar panels on lorry driver facilities to make them as sustainable as possible.

The measures follow £15m in joint government and industry funding for similar improvements announced last autumn as part of the fund’s first application window. This takes the total joint investment from the department and the sector to improve lorry roadside facilities up to £31m.

Opperman says: “Our lorry drivers are the backbone of a successful economy, ensuring food, goods and crucial medical supplies can get where they need to be, all over the country.

”That’s why it’s only right we leave no stone unturned when it comes to supporting our lorry drivers as part of our plan to grow the economy, and today’s £16.5m in joint government and industry funding will provide them with the safe, spacious and modern facilities they deserve.”

The announcement comes after £200m was allocated to roll out up to 370 zero emission trucks.