03 March 2023


At the ESPORG Conference 2023, which took place on 1 March at the European Parliament, the European Commission announced that a new study on Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPAs) will be launched in summer. The announcement comes almost a year after the publication of the Delegated Act on SSTPAs, which was strongly supported by CLECAT, as it harmonises EU Standard and contains clear and unambiguous rules on security, safety and comfort levels. The standard, which is based on four levels of security, a common level of service and certification procedures builds on the work of the 2019 Commission study on SSTPAs. The announcement of the new study was made by Kristian Schmidt, Director for Land Transport at the European Commission, who highlighted the need to have an up-to-date picture of the current situation in the EU, as the last study was published back in February 2019. The new study will provide a state of play of SSTPAs in the EU, funding opportunities (through CEF and others) and it will focus on the location, level of security, and number of parking spaces necessary. On top of that, the study will also focus on SSTPAs facilities nearby EU external borders, especially in the aftermath of Russia’s aggression war to Ukraine. The Commission will continue to work closely with the Experts group on Safe and Secure Parking Areas for Trucks, of which CLECAT is a member.

CLECAT Director General Nicolette van der Jagt who was a panel member at the ESPORG event welcomed the announcement of the new study, as now comes the time to implement the regulation and to start upgrading existing parking areas and investing in new ones.  She noted that it is urgent to secure sufficient parking possibilities for drivers, which should be of high quality and provide the desired amount of security. The study should provide new information that will be key to improve driver’s security and working conditions, especially in a time where cargo theft crimes in the EU is constantly increasing.

Commenting on the need for SSTPAs to also act as alternative fuel infrastructure hubs Ms van der Jagt noted this must be supported by a comprehensive infrastructure for alternative fuels, underpinned by an ambitious EU Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). With the text close to being finalised by EU negotiators, CLECAT continues to underscore the importance of binding targets that support fast-charging and hydrogen refuelling across the core and comprehensive networks, in urban nodes and in SSTPAs. At minimum, more than 30.000 publicly accessible charging points will be required by 2030. Today almost no truck-suitable charging points or hydrogen refuelling stations are operational. She also highlighted the need to have the infrastructure for charging built in locations close to large transport hubs and along the most frequented highways, starting where battery electric trucks are expected to be deployed first. At the same time, Ms van der Jagt noted that we must not forget the small companies that serve as the backbone of the road freight transport industry. Innovative financing models will be needed to support smaller players to accommodate the high upfront costs of zero emissions vehicles.