Sudbury businessman fears plans to transform lorry park into health centre will worsen crisis caused by HGV driver shortage
With the fuel crisis shining a light on the vital role of HGV drivers, a businessman has criticised plans to turn Sudbury’s lorry park into a new health centre.
Proposals to build a new surgery on the site in Station Road have been submitted by the Hardwicke House Group Practice, after Babergh District Council agreed to sell the land in order to facilitate the move.
Chris Storey, owner of SB Surveyors in Sudbury, who last week claimed the scheme lacks imagination, while lamenting the loss of 44 car parking spaces, said there are no plans to provide an alternative site.
“This is another side to the issue and directly relevant to the problems we have today as a result of the shortage of lorry drivers,” he said. “Where will the lorry drivers’ rest area be? If Babergh’s approach to a national crisis is to plan to make matters worse, what hope do we have?
“Sudbury has a lorry park, but it won’t have for long if they have their way.”
Mr Storey pointed to a post on a Sudbury Facebook page from a former lorry driver who had given up his job, in part, due to working conditions, including not being able to find places to park in the UK.
A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said the lorry park had low usage, except by market traders, and the authority was working with Sudbury Town Council to find alternative provision for traders.
She said: “We are not aware of any future plans for a lorry park but, as planning authority, we would consider any applications, together with feedback from Suffolk Highways, hauliers and residents.
“In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take part in Babergh’s current parking consultation to shape the district’s parking strategy for the next five to 10 years.”