Kent may grow to be the “rest room of England” in lower than eight weeks except devoted loos are offered for 1000’s of lorry drivers who might be held up within the county for hours by post-Brexit border checks, campaigners have warned.
They are saying Kent’s foremost roads and laybys are already affected by bottles of urine and baggage of excrement and the issue may grow to be a lot worse after 31 December.
“It’s got the potential to be disgusting,” mentioned Phil Silkstone, a regional official for Unite, which represents many lorry drivers.
Mike Sole, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Canterbury who has been campaigningon the difficulty of human waste being discarded in laybys close to the A2 motorway, mentioned: “I’m apprehensive Kent is changing into the bathroom of England, not the backyard of England. And we’re all braced for it getting a lot a lot worse.”
The federal government has promised drivers there will be portable toilets if an anticipated 7,000 lorries are held up by new checks and controls in Kent’s ports if there is no such thing as a Brexit commerce deal.
However Unite says these is not going to be sufficient to forestall fouling of Kent’s hedgerows on a scale that can horrify native residents. “If all the federal government does is provide a number of Portaloos then drivers are more likely to take the opposite choices – and that’s use the bushes,” Silkstone mentioned.
He warned that the most important downside could be round 4 lorry parks presently being in-built Kent to deal with the anticipated improve in automobiles held at Channel ports.
Silkstone mentioned: “The principle concern is the welfare of our drivers, but additionally the welfare of native residents. It received’t be good having 1000’s of lorry drivers doubtlessly utilizing the bushes round lorry parks. All we want is correct rest room and washing amenities. The time to start out putting in them isn’t in January, it’s now.”
He added: “It isn’t a menace from us, however inevitably if drivers are pressured to make use of bushes and parkways, the atmosphere might be broken in these areas. I’m hoping the federal government will hear.”
On Wednesday, Silkstone wrote to each MP in Kent and lots of of councillors throughout the south-east of England warning of the issue forward. He mentioned: “Presently all we’re conscious of is that transportable bogs might be used which I’m certain you’ll agree just isn’t acceptable for drivers below regular circumstances however much more so in the midst of this Covid-19 disaster, this brings potential well being dangers to all involved together with native residents.”
Sole, one of many recipients of the letter, described the fouling at a layby in his ward east of Canterbury. “You’ve obtained bottles of urine simply thrown in all places. And in addition rest room paper and all others types of mess that individuals on footpaths are going to search out. While there may be annoyance and disgust on the behaviour there may be additionally sympathy with drivers. It’s crucial that the federal government help in offering satisfactory amenities for lorry drivers who do such an necessary function in maintaining the economic system going.”
A spokeswoman for the Division for Transport referred inquiries to Highways England. A spokeswoman for Highways England mentioned: “We’re working with quite a few companions to place contingency plans in place.” However she referred questions on rest room amenities for lorry drivers again to the division and to Kent county council.
A Kent county council spokesman mentioned waste clearance was the duty of district and borough councils.
He added: “Native companions are working collectively to plan a site visitors administration system that can finest match with websites out there from the federal government for freight parking and checks. As a part of that ongoing work, authorities has ensured there might be rest room provision for drivers at these websites round Kent.”