LANGLEY, B.C. - A B.C. trucker and his girlfriend are in the process of applying for approval to build a major truck stop in Langley."We're in the process of negotiating for 14 acres of industrialized...
LANGLEY, B.C. – A B.C. trucker and his girlfriend are in the process of applying for approval to build a major truck stop in Langley.
“We’re in the process of negotiating for 14 acres of industrialized property right off 264th St.,” says Jason Fraser, who has been helping girlfriend Melissa Hicks spearhead the project.
Based on discussions with the City of Langley, Fraser and Hicks are optimistic they will receive approval to proceed with the project. The next step is raising $12-$13 million in capital to help make the truck stop a reality.
In order to obtain the funding, the couple must demonstrate there’s enough need and support for the project from the trucking industry.
“We need to receive at least 10,000 letters or signatures via e-mail or on a petition…the more support we can get, the greater the chances,” says Fraser.
“There’s been a lot of positive feedback so far from people who have really wanted a truck stop out here,” says Hicks, who has begun collecting letters and signatures from supporters.
She envisions a truck stop that features multiple fast food restaurants as well as a full-serve restaurant, laundry facilities and a driver lounge where truckers can relax and feel at home.
During her time on the road, she says she’s been disappointed with the quality of Canadian truck stops.
“I’ve gone with Jason on the road and there’s really nothing out there,” she says.
“I wanted to build something where the drivers would feel comfortable.”
As a trucker, Fraser is confident the truck stop and its accompanying 500-plus truck parking lot will be popular with drivers.
“There is no place to park around here and it’s a real pain having to go all the way back out to Chilliwack to sleep and then have to turn around and go all the way back to Vancouver the next day to get a load,” says Fraser. “It’s a hassle and it’s a real big inconvenience.”
He says some significant carriers have already applauded their project.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to the parcel of land being eyed by Fraser and Hicks is that it is just outside TransLink’s fuel tax boundary.
The regional transit body imposes a four-cent-per-litre fuel tax on all diesel and gasoline sold within the Greater Vancouver Area.
“Instead of having to drive all the way out to Abbotsford or Chilliwack to fuel up, they won’t have to go as far to get the four cents per litre break,” says Fraser. “We’re just on the other side of that fuel tax boundary.”
When filling up, most O/Os and carriers in Vancouver find it’s well worth the drive to avoid the TransLink levy.
The other benefit of the proposed location is that it offers easy access for big trucks.
Other developers have considered building a truck stop in the same area, but Fraser says there are strict design guidelines placed on new projects in that area which have deterred past investors.
Fraser and Hicks say they’re willing to work within those guidelines to make the project more feasible.
Hicks is already negotiating with fuel suppliers and hopes to accept as many different fuel cards as possible once the project is given the green light.
In the meantime, she’s also hoping truckers will voice their support.
To do so, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-841-1114.