Road transport: urgent infrastructure development
In 2018, the ""Safe and Secure Parking Places for Trucks SSTPA"" study estimated the shortfall in parking spaces needed by heavy goods vehicles in Europe at 100,000 spaces. Since then, the European Commission has been working hard to make up for the shortfall and to resolve related problems.
In Europe, road transport is the dominant mode of transport for trade and logistics operations. However, the Road Freight Transport sector is facing major safety challenges; particularly regarding parking spaces. This affects goods on the one hand, given that the cost of theft is estimated at 8.2 billion Euros per year - to which must be added the cost of fuel theft - and professionals on the other. According to a 2018 survey of 209 European truck drivers - including 50 women - 83% of drivers consider there to be an insufficient number of safe areas within the European Union. Moreover, 64% of female truck drivers have already experienced a lack of security during night stops. Is calls for higher standards of services and separate facilities - including toilet facilities - for men and women in parking areas .
Improving working conditions
Deprived of access to restaurants, toilets and showers, truck drivers were particularly hard hit by the health crisis and lockdowns. The growing feeling that there is a severe lack of infrastructure suitable for truck drivers has made the job far less attractive. Already in 2019, a report by the IRU (International Road Transport Union) warned about the worsening risk of a driver shortage in Europe. By the end of 2019, it stood at over 30,000 drivers. With the health crisis, the profession has seen even more defections.
Is a solution on the way?
In response to the security issue, the SSTPA study proposed that a new standard be introduced for secure car parks in 2018. Secure parking areas must now meet a number of criteria in order to become SSTPA-certified, including ""at least 24-hour manned or video surveillance and extra lighting"". In addition to security measures, SSTPA certification requires an appropriate level of services, including clean and functional men's and women's toilets and showers.
Last September, the European Commission also announced the launch of a call for proposals - under the European Interconnection Mechanism (EIM) - worth 100 million Euros, to improve the network of secure parking areas for HGVs. The priorities include: ""the development of new SSTPAs approximately every 100 km along the TEN-T core road network, and the upgrading of safety, security and services at existing rest areas"" .
""Citygie is committed to working with local authorities and motorway managers throughout France to develop the new secure areas for truck drivers, and in particular to providing high-quality toilet facilities and dedicated areas for men and women at these parking areas"", emphasizes Eric Piroud, CEO of Citygie, a company specializing in the design and manufacture of concrete street furniture.
 Safe and secure parking spaces for trucks
 European Commission, Study on Safe and Secure Parking Places for Trucks. Final Report, February 2019.
 FAVROLE Philippe, Conducteurs routiers : La pénurie. Vérités et propositions,