The European secure parking organisation (ESPORG) has awarded the first edition of the European Truck Parking Award to Truck Etape Béziers in France. IRU participated in the jury alongside other leading road transport stakeholders, including governmental and non-governmental institutions.
The Excellence in Truck Parking Award initiative, aims to promote excellence and helps to spread good practices related to improving safety, security and quality of service offered by truck parking operators to professional truck drivers across Europe. The winner of this year’s European Truck Parking Award is Truck Etape Béziers parking facility, located in southern France close to the French-Spanish border. La Londonienne in France and Smart Autohof in Romania received the European Excellence in Truck Parking runner-up certificate. The jury stressed that all candidates demonstrated an excellent quality of service to professional drivers.
The lack of truck parking areas continues to be a problem for the road transport sector. With only 300,000 truck parking spaces currently available in the European Union (EU), there is a significant shortfall of 100,000 spaces to meet total demand. Only 7,000 places, less than 3%, of existing parking places in the EU are in areas certified to be safe and secure. IRU has urged 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.
IRU appreciates that the EU has responded by making funding available via the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) instrument, but more needs to be done to ensure adequate facilities for professional drivers. Investment priorities should include developing new safe and secure parking areas, and improving safety, security and services in existing rest areas. This is in line with the recommendations of the EU-funded study on EU Parking Standards, in which IRU participated.
Raluca Marian, IRU’s Director of EU Advocacy said: “Good parking areas are a basic condition for our drivers’ decent working conditions. As a sector, we cannot imagine solutions to the massive driver shortage across the European Union without addressing these conditions. The European Truck Parking of the Year Award represents a concrete tool to promote the serious efforts being made by the industry to provide adequate resting facilities for professional drivers. We hope that this award will stimulate further investment and ultimately help enhance the image of the profession and attract new drivers.”
IRU will continue to work closely together with all partners and stakeholders, to promote the creation of new and upgraded secure parking areas across Europe.