United Kingdom

Villagers erect a roadside TOILET for Amazon lorry drivers

Villagers have erected a roadside toilet for Amazon lorry drivers because they are so fed up with truckers defecating next to their vehicles.

Locals in Hoo, Kent, have been complaining for more than two years about HGV drivers visiting an Amazon warehouse.

Workers park on grass verges along busy roads before leaving the mess to be cleared up afterwards, say residents.

Spar shop manager Kim Hazelwood said a loo roll had been placed with the toilet, but it appears someone had stolen it.

A roadside toilet erected by villagers in Hoo, Kent, who say Amazon workers park on grass verges along busy roads before defecating next to their vehicles

She said that although people were amused by the toilet protest, it highlights a big problem. 

'Sometimes there are lorries everywhere you look and what they leave behind really isn't nice. Everyone's fed up with the situation but it just doesn't get any better.'

She added that the internet retail giant had finally opened facilities for drivers to park up and use.

But because they were charging, the workers were choosing to drop their trailers off at the depot before parking their cabs along the highway.

Residents have even stopped going for walks as they say it's common to come across faeces and toilet paper on the ground.

Kim believes the situation has been made worse by a decision to close off a layby on Four Elms Hill - where the lorries used to park.

She said: 'Surely, Amazon should offer the services for free. That way the problem would be solved.'

Fellow villager Gill Hannah added: 'This is what residents are having to live with. Drivers park across footpaths, so we have to walk in roads.

'They have breached every drain, BT and manhole cover from Chattenden to the Amazon warehouse.

'Since the warehouse opened, this is getting worse, worse and worse. Since Covid, we are encouraged to walk and exercise more, but we can't because of there's s*** everywhere.

'It's uncomfortable to walk past all these vehicles, plus we can't use the footpaths. Medway Council is not in the slightest interested.'

Last month, parish councillors wrote to council chief Alan Jarrett demanding action be taken. They said lined-up lorries were 'an accident waiting to happen'.  

Lorries pictured lined up along the road in Hoo, Kent. With increased deliveries due to Christmas, residents fear more traffic and more problems

Mr Jarrett said it was 'being looked into by council officers'. 

With increased deliveries due to Christmas, residents fear more traffic and more problems. 

Amazon opened the distribution depot in 2018 on the Kingsnorth Industrial Estate.

Locals say convoys of lorry drivers from all over Europe relying on their Sat Nav are getting lost and keep knocking on people's front doors asking: 'Are you the Amazon base?'

Exasperated resident Emma Lawrence said the convoys of confused truckers keep missing the correct turn-off from Ratcliffe Highway and take their lorries down narrow Stoke Road instead.

Emma, who lives on the road, said the lane is constantly getting blocked by truckers blindly following their satnav and people's patience is running out.

She said: 'There's a pathetic little sign on the Ratcliffe Highway. They're supposed to turn right to the industrial estate, but they're following a postcode which is taking them down Stoke Road.

'Drivers are knocking on people's doors saying things like 'I've got industrial hoovers for factories' and people are replying 'do I look like an Amazon warehouse?'

'It's a ridiculous state of affairs and it's only going to get worse as Christmas approaches. I'm telling lorries to go back the other way, but they keep on coming.

'I saw about 20 lorries last week and that was just in daylight hours, but you get them at night too. It's just constant.'

The confused HGV drivers are having to knock on villagers' doors to ask for directions and reverse their juggernauts down narrow country lanes in a bid to locate the 34,000 square metre warehouse.

Some residents were even asked to sign for building materials and air conditioning compartments when the depot opened, as suppliers failed to navigate the winding roads.

Amazon said it is working with Medway Council to enhance the signage close to the site and hauliers have been reminded of the correct postcode.

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