The best UK truck stops for resting HGV drivers
There’s no denying that there is a lack of suitable UK truck stops and places to rest for HGV drivers, and with fines being enforced for those that are parking in laybys, these rest stops are decreasing further. So, where can you go to rest as a HGV driver in the UK?
Since November 1st, 2017, HGV drivers in the UK who take their regular weekly rest breaks in cabs must now take them in proper rest areas (like service areas and truck stops). Due to a lack of these, some drivers have been taking their rest in laybys, which has been deemed unsafe. Resting in laybys, on or close to public roads and on motorway slip roads, can now lead to drivers being fined and prohibited by the DVSA. We have created a small list of great UK truck stops that will be suitable for those working across the UK, we will also include links to websites and apps that will be able to locate great routes and UK truck stops for those on the road, as well as indicate how to set your rest period on your Digital Tachograph.
Your rest period on the SE5000 Digital Tachograph
First, we will look at setting your rest period on the SE5000 Exakt Duo Digital Tachograph. On the lead up to a daily or weekly rest, your tachograph may display text signalling that it is almost time to use your rest hours. In order to use these hours, you will need to set your tachograph to ‘Rest/break’.
To select an activity on the tachograph, press button or depending on whether you are the driver or co-driver. The modes that you can select are ‘Available’, ‘Other work’ and ‘Rest/break’. When a vehicle is set in motion, the ‘Drive’ mode is automatically put into use.
When you are taking a break the following symbol will be used:
The example below is what you will see on the SE5000 Exakt Duo Digital Tachograph when you stop to take your daily rest. This is the first break after 4.5 hours driving.
A breakdown of the display is shown below:
- Driver is resting.
- Remaining resting time is 45 minutes.
- Availability is the activity selected for the co-driver.
- You can drive 4 hours and 30 minutes when you have finished your rest.
Top UK truck stops
In order to take a rest break, you need somewhere to rest. Everyone is likely to have different requirements when it comes to their pitstops, but these 4 UK truck stops are well spread out across Britain and all provide excellent amenities.
Chippenham Pit Stop was named ‘Truck Stop of the Year 2017’ by Truckstop News and is ideal for those heading to or from the South of Wales. The stop is located in Wiltshire, just off Junction 17 of the M4 Motorway, and alongside a filling station, this truck stop also offers a lorry park with 85 spaces. Other key points are:
- Free parking for up to an hour
- Long stay parking for cars, vans and HGVs
- Overnight parking for HGVs which starts at £21.50 and includes a £6 food voucher
- 24 hour CCTV surveillance of vehicles
- Facilities include showers and toilets with underfloor heating
- All hours filling station for fuel cardholders when you are running low
- Bar (with flat screens and serving local real ale on tap)
- Restaurant service hot meals
Route 74 Truckstop is located in Lesmahagow, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. This UK truck stop is around 26 miles south of Glasgow off Junction 10 of the M74, this stop caters mainly to HGVs with parking for 150 trucks, but also offers their services to the public. One of the excellent features of this stop is the fact that you can pre-book your parking online, should you know you are heading in their direction. This allows you to ensure your spot ahead of time. Other notable positives are:
- Male and female shower facilities open 24 hours
- Restaurant serving hot and cold food
- Shop offering travel essentials and snacks
- Cash Machine (available 24 hours)
- Fully automated truck and coach wash, as well as drive-through hand wash
- Site-wide Wi-Fi 24/7 on-site security guards
Tebay Services is an ideal stop if you are sailing from the port of Heysham to Dublin. Located in Penrith, Cumbria, off Junction 38 on the M6, this UK truckstop is owned by the Westmorland family and has a lot of interesting offerings, from a full roast dinner to organic produce. Tebay was also awarded the “Park Mark Safer Parking Award”, so your HGV should be safe in their parking area. Other great points are:
- Farm shop
- Kitchen serving homemade, fresh food
- 24 hour CCTV and a patrolling HGV warden
- Showers, fuel and a cash machine available from as little as £18 for 24 hours
Ashford Truck Stop is based in Kent, off Junction 10 on the M20. This is one of the best known UK truck stops, it was named Truckstop of the Year in 2016 and is placed particularly well for Folkestone terminal and the port of Dover. They have incredibly tight security with 50 motion sensor infra-red CCTV cameras throughout the site, 12′ barbed wire fences and security patrolling the area 24/7; not to mention great facilities. However, being such a popular stop does mean competition for spaces. To ensure you have one of their 389 parking spaces, you can book online at MyTruckParking.com. Other positives of this truck stop are:
- 24/7 Shop, restaurant and bar
- Gym with weights room
- Shower and Toilets facilities
- Laundrette Facilities
- Lounge and TV area
- Comfort room
- Gaming area and cinema TV
- Cash Machine (offers both Sterling and Euros)
- Free on-site WiFi
- On-site accommodation, which can be included in your parking fee
How to find a great UK truck stop
These 4 stops won’t be on everyone’s route, so how do you find a great truck stop when you are driving? There are several ways, the first would be to Google it. Using Google and Google Maps can give you great locations close to you, just from searching for a phrase like “best UK truck stops”, as you can see below:
You will be able to review ratings and comments from previous visitors to these locations and this will help you in making your decision of where to stop. You can also use an app like ‘intruck‘, this app will allow you to see the real-time availability and easily pre-book at truck stops across the country. It is available on the AppStore and through Google Play.
UKHaulier also has a Truck Stop Finder on their website, which gives you a map of stops, cafes and places to shower. It also offers great route planning services, transport law information, fuel price information and the ability to voice your opinion and rate services you have been to.
Overall, resting as a HGV driver can be difficult but there are certainly UK truck stops out there where you will be able to enjoy a lot of home comforts while you are travelling. To find out more about the rules and regulations surrounding rest periods,please see this page on our website. If you have any more questions about the SE5000 Digital Tachograph, please contact us or find out more about it over on our website.