Canadian drivers rally for truck parking

May 20, 2024

Ryan Witkowski


A group of Canadian truckers are pleading with officials in British Columbia to address the province’s lack of truck parking.

On Wednesday, May 15, members from the Canadian Trucking Association of BC held a rally near the Pattullo Bridge in Surrey, British Columbia, to raise awareness about a lack of truck parking in the Lower Mainland.

Amit Kumar, president of CTA-BC, said there is an urgent need for an additional 2,000 truck parking spaces in Surrey and Langley, with roughly 5,000 additional spaces needed in the Lower Mainland overall.

“In the last few years, it has become more acute because the demand on the available space that we have in the Lower Mainland has increased tremendously, whether it is for residential purposes or for warehouse and industry space,” Kumar told CityNews.

Kumar said that truckers in the province have been dealing with a lack of truck parking for the past two decades, with “nothing concrete ever done to resolve this problem.”

Brad Vis, a member of parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, spoke at the event in support of the creation of new truck parking.

“As the number of trucks on our roads in B.C. continues to increase, commercial parking needs to be a part of our broader economic policy to ensure the effective movement of goods in our province,” Vis said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Addressing truck parking in the area

In March, the Surrey City Council unanimously approved a $2 million plan that would add 150 truck parking spots at four designated lots across the city. At the time, Kumar said that number “doesn’t cut it” when it comes to addressing the larger problem.

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said the 150 spaces were a good start, but the provincial government could be doing more to address the lack of available parking in the region.

“Trucking is the economy on wheels. Everybody needs trucks,” Locke said. “This is a metro Vancouver issue. This is a provincial issue. And we need to get more truck parking.”

That sentiment was echoed by other city officials. Surrey Councillor Linda Annis told reporters that while she voted in favor of the proposal, it fell well short of the number of spaces needed for truckers in the area.

“It’s 150 more spots than we had before,” Annis told CityNews. “But I feel that we need to make a much more concentrated effort to get the provincial government, truck drivers, council and staff all together and figure out a long-term plan, because this problem is only going to get worse.”

While the progress may be slow and incremental, there are measures currently being taken by the provincial government to address the lack of truck parking throughout British Columbia.

In May 2023, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced a nine-year, $100 million plan to provide “upgrades and enhancements to key highway rest areas” throughout the province.

Of the total funds, officials said $28 million was expected to be spent over the next three years to “support the trucking industry and other travelers.” The move, at the time, was applauded by the British Columbia Trucking Association.

“This funding is especially important for commercial drivers who work long hours and require safe and accessible stopping places, so they can be focused and well-rested while they are on the road,” Dave Earle, president and CEO of the British Columbia Trucking Association, said in a statement. “The more facilities that are accessible to large commercial trucks, the more drivers will stop and recharge when they need to.”

As far as what those improvements would entail, the ministry told Land Line last May that the projects were still in the early stages of planning and that it would be “several months before more details are available on the scope of improvements.” However, the ministry did say that additional truck parking would be an “important consideration” in that planning process.

“The B.C. government recognizes the importance of the trucking industry to the province’s economy and the importance of providing modern roadside facilities that enhance the safety and comfort of long-haul truck drivers and the general public,” the ministry said.

In late March, the ministry cut the ribbon on the North Surrey Truck Parking Facility. Situated along Highway 17, less than a mile from the Port Mann Bridge, the new secured truck parking facility brought 106 additional truck parking spaces to British Columbia. LL