Saturday, 3 February 2018

Plans to double size of Ashford International Truckstop stack-up

With the issue of illegal parking in Kent and the future solution for Operation Stack high on the agenda, there’s good news from Ashford.

An application to double the size of Ashford International Truckstop (AIT) in Kent, raising its capacity to 600 HGVs, has been submitted to the local authority.

The application also includes plans to develop new commercial space on 45 acres of the 140 acre site, alongside the existing Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency offices and planned Jaguar Land Rover dealership. When fully developed the commercial premises would provide employment for approximately 750 people.

While the doubling of AIT won’t be a solution to Stack, it will make a small contribution should it be necessary to put the traffic management system into operation.

More importantly for local residents is the fact that it will reduce illegal overnight lorry parking in and around Ashford.

If approved, the development close to Junction 10 of the M20, would include a new service building with restaurant, shops, showers, toilets and rest areas.

The expansion is seen as essential with AIT recording its highest ever occupancy rates in the last year, operating at 97 per cent capacity and having to turn away around 200 HGVs a week.

The application has been welcomed by Kent County Council, which believes it will help combat the immediate need for lorry parking in Kent and highlights that the existing stop is often full overnight, causing parking at undesirable and inappropriate locations.

If approved, the expanded truck stop would be built before the commercial and residential developments.

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