Plan under development to deal with anti-social parking by lorry drivers on Doncaster streets

A lorry parked on the pavement at an industrial estate in Adwick
A lorry parked on the pavement at an industrial estate in Adwick
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If you live near Doncaster's motorways, it is in issue that may be driving you mad.

But a solution could be on the way over concerns across the borough over nuisance lorry issues involving parking and anti-social behaviour in residential areas, with a new plan being drawn up by council bosses.

Concerns have been raised for residents in villages near the A1(M), and Skellow residents are now calling for action to deal with lorries causing problems with bad parking and what they see as bad behaviour.

Campaigners in the borough are concerned that some drivers are choosing to leave their trucks at the roadside in villages rather than putting them in proper lorries parks for overnight rests.

They are concerned over trucks filling up the parking spaces in their streets, and parking across pavements. Others have raised concerned about drivers filling bottles with urine, because they do not have toilets, and then throwing them out of their cabs. Concerns have also been raised in areas including Rossington, Thorne, and Conisbrough.

Doncaster MP Caroline Flint says she is seeing more and more complaints over the issue. And it is among issues which have been raised by The Old Skellow Neighbourhood Watch and The Skellow, Carcroft, Adwick and Woodlands Action Group, which represents around households in villages near the A1(M).

The action group is also concerned about the number of lorries which use their road

Spokesman Linda Mitchell said: "One day we counted 70 lorries an hour going through the village, on roads which we feel are completely unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.

"They are also coming down here and parking up for their breaks.

"I think Skellow, Carcroft, Adwick, and Woodlands have the same problem. People sometimes have to go out into the road with their pushchairs to get round the lorries."

She said residents in the village had hoped a service station would be built on the A1(M) at junction 37, but the scheme was rejected by Doncaster Council planning committee after residents living close to the proposed site warned it would cause traffic problems on their roads.

Fellow campaigner Ian Mitchell said there had been cases of drivers leaving bottles filled with urine behind them they left after parking up.

Insp Ian McKnight, the neighbourhood inspector for Doncaster West, which includes Skellow, said officers were looking at parking issues, but it had not been seen as a major problem.

The issue was often whether or not the lorry was blocking the path.

He said: "Where we see it, we will deal with it."

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment at Doncaster Council, said the authority had investigated the parking of lorries on the B1220 Skellow Road, but as no road safety concerns were identified, there were no plans at present to introduce waiting restrictions. He added. "We are however constantly looking at ways to improve and enhance our road network and this includes considering options for a scheme in Skellow.”

But he said a plan was under development for dealing with the wider issue of lorries parking.

He said: “We are in the process of developing a Lorry Parking Strategy. This strategy will look at the issues across the borough and seek to work with hauliers and distribution centres to find solutions for the problems identified.

“We have been working with the private sector to look at potential lorry parking sites which do not impact on residential areas. However, if residents do find that lorry drivers or others are littering and not clearing away their rubbish, then please report this to us online or via 01302 736 000 and where possible, we will take action.”

Kate Gibbs, a spokesman for the Road Haulage Association, said she sympathised with the predicament of the residents , but added the drivers themselves had a greater predicament as they had to park up to fit in with the legal number of rest hours.

She said: "The drivers are up against the shortage of facilities in the country. for them to stop for their statutory rest hours. Driverts don't sto up for fun, they do it to comply with regulations.

"We are pushing for the Government to recognise this and improve facilities for drivers."

MP's concerns

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint MP says lorries parking in residential areas is an issue that has been frequently been raised by her constituents.

Concerns have been raised in areas including Rossington and Conisbrough, and in Thorne.

She recently told a Free Press round table event: "We are a major logistics centre, but I get more and more case work these days about antisocial behaviour as a result of heavy goods vehicles not wanting to pay and parking up in inappropriate places, with some pretty disgusting antisocial behaviour that is along side it. I think maybe that needs to be looked at.

"Unless we deal with some of this and lorry drivers have a place to go that is safe and clean or are part of a development like the iport, then unfortunately some people will just park up anywhere. I feel we need to be ahead of the curve on that because my casework has definitely increased in terms of antisocial behaviour as a result of some of the inappropriate behaviour in which some lorry drivers do their work and then park over night.

"Certainly in Rossington we've had a number of problems. We are working with the council and getting to a better place on it now.

"The police suddenly get alerted if there is an issue. If something moves on it moves somewhere else. It's a bit like like whack a mole

"In Consibrough, I usually park in the car lark library when I do my surgery there. I was astonished a short while back to see a massive lorry had somehow managed to squeeze in there. It was obviously opportunistic but we need to be aware of it and see it as a problem so that we don't get more parking.

"For some lorry drivers they're not going to pay £20 a night, so how do we have a welcoming environment but also have some red lines?"

David Budd assistant director, transport, for Sheffield City Region said: "The Government has only just published a paper on the provision of overnight parking of HGVs. We would look at that. There is not a shortfall in places in the overall region, but given the importance of the logistics sector to the city region and particularly to Doncaster it is an area where we need to keep an eye on.

Neil Firth, Head of Service for Major Projects and Infrastructure at Doncaster Council had concerns about the official report. He said: "I gather the surveys were done on one night,and they didn't engage about where is opportunistic parking was occuring. It's an issue that ebbs and flows.

"We had example in Thorne where they'd found an area they could use. Within a mile there was a lorry park, but that was £20 a night. They were not coming to Donaster, they were stopping on their way to the Humber ports. It was probably just opportunistic. We can put yellow lines down. But sometimes they are parking at midnight when the enforcement officers are not there.

"Within the local plan, we have set out that we would look favourably on any developer who wants to look opportunistically at developing a lorry park on any of the key sites along the M18 and the A1."