The award-winning Ashford International Truckstop in Kent has launched MyTruckparking.com – a real-time parking reservation system to support its customers, improve freight management and reduce inappropriate and illegal parking of HGVs in the local area.
MyTruckparking.com will mean drivers and transport managers booking will have the peace of mind that the space reserved at Ashford International Truckstop at junction 10 of the M20, will be available on arrival and they won’t be turned away to look for other parking.
The reservation system has been welcomed by the freight industry.
Natalie Chapman, Head of Policy for London & South East at the Freight Transport Association, added: ‘Lorry drivers do a tough job and need safe, secure truck parking facilities to rest so systems such as MyTruckparking.com which help drivers make informed decisions about where to park, can only make their lives easier.’
Chrys Rampley, Manager, Infrastructure, Security & Business Affairs at the Road Haulage Association, added: ‘Ashford International is a safe and well-provisioned truckstop and this booking initiative offers hauliers, and their drivers, the certainty they need when planning overnight stops. More lorry parking sites should adopt a system like this.
‘However, we also need more Truckstops like Ashford, in Kent and around the UK. We welcome the government’s recent U-turn to finally recognise its responsibility to ensure adequate facilities are available to lorry drivers along its road network.’
The MyTruckparking.com system also gives real-time alerts and sends images of the vehicle on arrival and departure back to the driver’s traffic management teams at head office. All vehicles using Ashford International Truckstop, including high-value loads, are parked in a secure compound with driver facilities.
Traffic managers can upload a list of all their vehicles to the system, log on, select which vehicle they want to park and reserve a space for them with a chosen time and date.
It avoids wasting time emailing countless registration numbers in to book their vehicles on site, and the driver or traffic manager will be sent a booking confirmation via email.
The free-to-download web app, which enables freight companies and drivers with a pre-paid account to book a space ahead either online, or via their mobile phone or tablet and there’s no booking fee for using the service until April 2017.
To promote the service a series of brochures have been produced in Czech, English, French, Polish, German Hungarian and Slovakian.
Darren Smith, General Manager of Ashford International Truckstop, said: ‘Demand for secure overnight lorry parking is at an all-time high. Freight companies will be able to demonstrate to their suppliers and insurers that the driver, and load, is safe with many customers and insurance companies now making it a requirement.
‘MyTruckparking.com was created to help drivers, as we know turning up at a full truck stop on the edge of their tachograph-permitted drive time, forces many to park inconveniently or, worse still, illegally and can even put their loads at risk. Once they’ve booked through MyTruckparking.com, our system gives them the certainty of a secure space for the night in Ashford.
‘The new reservation system has been positively received by our customers during the development period, and we believe it could have much wider application beyond our Truckstop, for the benefit of the industry.’
Despite having space for 300 vehicles Ashford International Truckstop is operating very close to full capacity, and turns away on average 50-60 vehicles each night.
Darrell Healey, Managing Director of GSE Group, which owns and operates the Ashford International Truckstop, added: ‘The other major beneficiary of MyTruckparking is Ashford. When booking, the system notifies drivers we are full, so they can make alternative parking arrangements and continue their journey rather than park illegally.
‘As we build awareness of MyTruckparking, it should help reduce the number of drivers we turn away, as well as the cost of removing unsightly litter left by overnight drivers who don’t have access to facilities.’
Ashford International Truck Stop, which was voted best national truck stop of 2016, provides secure parking for 300 trucks and their drivers, as well as a big-screen sports bar and restaurant, cash machine, showers, laundry facilities, a gym, and truck repairs and truckwash service, minutes from junction 10 of the M20 at Waterbrook Avenue.