GROUPS representing thousands of truckers have hit back at claims lorry drivers are causing “a huge problem” by parking overnight in industrial estates.

North East Truckers, which has 5,900 members, and SNAP Account, which works 70,000 drivers, said North Yorkshire County Council and Hambleton District Council must provide an alternative site to stop before banning overnight parking in business parks.

The authorities have launched a joint working group after claims that scores of truckers are causing issues such as unsanitary waste by parking at industrial estates at Leeming Bar, near Bedale, and Thirsk.

Truckers’ groups said drivers wanted to pay for parking, despite facing fees of £28-a-night to park and shower at the only truck stop in the area, Coneygarth, near Leeming Bar, but it was always full.

They said drivers considered laybys and industrial areas as unsafe, due to cargo and diesel thefts.

Lee Morris, of North East Truckers, said while councillors had raised issues over rubbish on industrial estates, much of it was not due to drivers.

He said while the drivers who park on industrial estates contributed to the area’s night-time economy, they were being treated like social outcasts.

Mr Morris, who parks his lorry on Thirsk Industrial Park, said: “If we get banned from parking there where are we going to go? The current alternatives in the area are not safe.”

He called for a meeting with the councils to discuss the issue. Mr Morris said: “There is a massive gap in the market for a truck stop in the area, because at the moment we are having to go further and further away from where we need to be.”

Nick Long, of SNAP Account, said: “The whole process can be resolved with an appropriate area which is safe and has facilities and be profitable for the council. If the councils start to clamp or put down yellow lines with ticketing, they will only be making the situation worse rather than addressing the issue.”