Hauliers told ‘parking to close’ at popular truckstop
PUBLISHED: 14:43 09 February 2017
Parking for lorry drivers at Alconbury truck stop is reportedly set to close next month, after a notice was sent out to hauliers telling them they could no longer use the site to park or stop overnight.
The truckstop, in Home Farm, on the A1(M), is owned by Maritime Transport which, visitors to the stop have been told, is planning to turn it into a depot, with access only available to its drivers from March 3.
Since the news, one lorry driver told The Hunts Post he regularly uses the Alconbury truck stop and that he is worried about the decision.
“It’s wrong, we need somewhere to stop,” Stephen Woodward said.
“We need proper facilities and safe and secure parking. Wherever we go on the A14 now, it’s a serious problem; we have drivers being attacked and curtains being ripped.
“The only place we have to park now is on industrial estates and in lay-bys and those are also closing, so where do we go? We are all human beings and we need to use the toilet and eat.”
Mr Woodward said the next available stop for hauliers was at Cambridge Services, on the A14, but he added it only had space for 30 drivers and more people would now be looking to stop there.
After Cambridge Services, Mr Woodward said he faced a long drive to Birchanger Green Services, in Hertfordshire, or Corley Services, in Warwickshire.
By law, hauliers can only drive for four-and-a-half hours before they have to take a 45-minute break. They are only permitted to drive for nine hours a day and have to take an 11-hour rest.
It is believed that while the parking at the truck stop is closing, the forecourt will remain open as well as the on-site café, but with limited opening hours.
Staff based at the site have contacted The Hunts Post to say that they have been made redundant, following Maritime Transport’s decision.
“My manager went into a meeting but was there for just two seconds before he stormed out in a rage,” Christine Thompson, who works at the café, said.
“Everyone is devastated.”
Christine says she was made redundant on February 7 and said she had been told that Maritime Transport wants to make the site into its own depot.
She said her last day at the premises would be March 3.
Other positions at the café are understood to be at risk, but Maritime Transport has not confirmed this.
The manager of a hotel which was based at the truck stop has also said he believes the parking is closing after speaking to several people and seeing the notices.
Stewart Hobbs opened swingers’ club Tease II Hotel at the site in 2011, but recently lost an appeal to keep it open after he was served an eviction notice by then truck stop owners The Heys Group.
Maritime purchased the stop from the Heys Group last year.
The Hunts Post contacted Maritime Transport about the parking closures, but was told no one was available to comment.