IRU, the voice of the commercial road transport sector, welcomes the new EU rules setting out the level of service and security of safe and secure parking areas and the procedures for their certification. At the same time, we remain concerned by the insufficient number of parking areas in the European Union (EU) and call for ambitious targets for building additional safe and secure parking areas.
Following the adoption of Mobility Package I, the European Commission (EC) released today a regulation which sets out the minimum level of service which safe and secure parking areas need to offer to professional drivers. This includes gender-friendly sanitary facilities, food and beverage purchasing and consumption options, communication connections (internet), power supply and the presence of emergency contact points and procedures. In addition, four levels of security (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze) are defined and will be used to certify new and existing safe and secure parking areas.
IRU welcomes this important step to improve conditions for drivers because the new rules promote adequate facilities for professional drivers while taking their legally mandatory rest.
IRU played an important role in the drafting process of the regulation by engaging with relevant stakeholders in the EC Expert Group on safe and secure parking areas for trucks. The content of the regulation derives from the results achieved from the EU-funded study carried out in 2019 on safe and secure parking places for trucks, in which IRU participated and provided considerable input.
While IRU welcomes the adoption of the regulation, a lack of safe and secure parking areas continues to be a major problem for the road transport sector. With only 300,000 parking places currently available in the EU, there is a significant shortfall of 100,000 to meet total demand. According to the 2019 study, only about 7,000, less than 3%, of existing parking places in the EU, are in areas certified to be safe and secure. While the number of safe and secure parking areas has slightly increased since 2019, IRU continues to urge policymakers to provide additional support to improve conditions in the sector by advocating for EU-funding to build new, and upgrade existing, safe and secure parking areas.