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‘150 doesn’t cut it’: New Surrey truck parking a drop in the bucket, industry says

Click to play video: '150 new truck parking spaces in Surrey'
150 new truck parking spaces in Surrey
The City of Surrey has approved 150 more truck parking spots, but the Canadian Trucking Association says the city is still short about 2,000 spots. The long-standing issue has led many truckers to break by-laws and as Janet Brown reports, it comes with a heavy price. – Mar 12, 2024

The City of Surrey is moving to build 150 new parking spaces for commercial truckers, but those in the industry say it’s a drop in the bucket towards what’s needed.

“We have a need for probably about 2,000 spots in Surrey alone, and if you look at (Greater Vancouver) 5,000-plus,” said Canadian Trucking Association of B.C. president Amit Kumar.

“So 150 doesn’t cut it, it doesn’t meet the needs.”

Click to play video: 'Surrey commercial truck parking plans'
Surrey commercial truck parking plans

Surrey councillors approved a plan to convert 6.5 acres of municipal land in four sites to commercial lots, with a priority for Surrey-based drivers.

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The move follows complaints about noise, road damage and safety hazards from trucks being illegally parked in various parts of the city, along with concerns from drivers who risk ticketing and theft.

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“We will do more, but right now this is what we are able to do, we’ve found some city lots we can put truck spots on,” Mayor Brenda Locke said.

“It’s very difficult to find (locations), and especially this kind of land, this is employment land, industrial land that we can put truck stock on.”

Truckers say the parking extends far beyond Surrey, with a lack of safe lots to leave their trucks across the region.

Parminder Sanghera, who has owned Langley-based Reliance Logistics for 16 years, said he’s looked for land to build his own lot but can’t afford the multimillion-dollar price tag for industrial land.

He did find a piece of property in the Agricultural Land Reserve, but parking his trucks there has proven costly, too. Under ALR regulations, a maximum of three commercial vehicles can be parked on an agricultural property.

“I got almost 200 tickets which has cost me almost $21,000,” he said.

Sanghera said he’s pleaded his case to the province and the municipality, and that while everyone sympathizes no one has been willing to find a solution.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. land development adds to trucker pressure'
B.C. land development adds to trucker pressure

Parmar, whose company ships produce to B.C. from California and Arizona, said he’s now considering leaving B.C.

“Are you going to go out of business, or are you going to move out of province?” he asked.

“If you go to Alberta they welcome you with open arms. You need a parking lot, you get approval in three months.”

Kumar said Parmar isn’t alone, and that many association members have already moved east or south.

He said that someone needs to show leadership and spearhead a regional solution that can keep truckers afloat, so they can supply us with the food and goods we need.

“We are losing the backbone of our economy on wheels,” he said.

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“Next time there is a COVID or flood event we won’t have local truckers to rely on. What happens then?”

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