ESTA welcomes European Commission plans to increase safe parking areas

ESTA has welcomed the European Commission´s launch of a call for proposals to access €100 million in funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to improve the network of safe and secure truck parking areas (SSTPAs) across the European Union.

There are currently only 300,000 truck parking spaces available in the EU – an estimated significant shortfall of 100,000 spaces to meet demand. What is more only 7,000 spaces, or less the 3 per cent, are in certified safe and secure areas.

ESTA and many EU road transport organisations have long called for additional support to improve conditions in the sector.

New investment priorities include the development of new SSTPAs approximately every 100km along the TEN-T core road network and upgrades to safety, security and services in existing rest areas, in line with the EU-funded study on EU Parking Standards published in 2019.

The deadline for the European Commission’s call for proposals is January 19, 2022.

ESTA director Ton Klijn said: “We urge SSTPA developers to take the requirements for parking of abnormal transports into account when developing their new sites. Provided the site development is addressed with some attention to the needs of abnormal transport, this initiative will make a huge difference for drivers and operators in the coming years.”

He added: “Overall, this new dedicated EU funding for SSTPAs is excellent news for the commercial road transport industry. We are looking forward to the deployment of new parking projects and call on member states to work closely with interested parties to apply to the EU’s call for proposals.”

ESTA believes that increasing the number of safe and secure parking areas is essential to help make the sector more attractive to young people.