The award-winning Ashford International Truckstop is recording its highest ever occupancy rates, highlighting the ever growing need for its expansion.
Figures for June and July this year show the site to be operating at 97 per cent capacity, eight per cent higher than the same period in 2016 and 10 per cent more than in 2015.
The year-on-year rise is partly the result of the success of the truckstop’s app, MyTruckparking.com, launched in January 2017, which enables drivers and transport managers to reserve overnight space at the site in advance, knowing it will be available for them on arrival guaranteeing them safe and secure parking.
One in eight visiting drivers now use the app to book their spot at the truckstop.
The increased occupancy is also due to the rise in the amount of trucks passing through Kent. More vehicles are arriving through the Eurotunnel and Port of Dover and using Ashford as a stop-off point after arrival and before departing the country.
With more drivers wanting to stay overnight, the truckstop is now turning away around 200 HGVs each week.
Darren Smith, General Manager of Ashford International Truckstop, said: “These are exciting times for the truckstop and the recent figures evidence the need to expand it.
“Increasing the stop’s capacity would not only strengthen the local economy, but also reduce the number of lorries illegally parking on Ashford’s roads.
“What we face is a supply and demand issue. We currently have the demand for spaces, but not enough spaces to match that demand.
“We are close to submitting plans to expand the truckstop to accommodate 600 trucks.”
Plans to open a new 600 space truckstop are included as part of the Waterbrook development project. This would also include the construction of up to 400 new homes and a business park on the site close to Sevington and Junction 10 of the M20.
Darrell Healey, Chairman of GSE Group, the owners of the Ashford International Truckstop, said: “The data showing the number of lorries coming to the site each week and the significant increase in these figures over the past year demonstrates the expansion is urgently needed.”
A hybrid planning application is due to be submitted in the next few weeks which will include detailed plans for the new truckstop and an outline application for the rest of the site.
Source: Uk Haulier