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RED LIGHT LAID-BYS; Prostitutes flock to lorry drivers parked in villages.

Byline: BY BOB HAYWOOD

SEX-MAD lorry drivers are turning two Midland villages into red light districts.

The truckers are ringing up prostitutes for steamy romps in their cabs.

And the vice girls are hiring taxis to speed to the randy drivers who are parked up for the night.

Villagers in Featherstone and Essington, near Wolverhampton, are furious at the sordid night-time antics in lay-bys in local lanes.

They say that the seedy sex trade has been brought to their doorsteps since the Night Owl Truckstop in Cannock Road, Featherstone, closed down just before Christmas.

The cafe and secure lorry park shut because the land is to be turned into an industrial estate.

The closure has infuriated longdistance lorry drivers because they say their cargoes are at a risk of being hi-jacked if they park on unprotected lorry parks, or in lay-bys.

But the shut down has also made life a misery for villagers because of the sex sessions between truckers and vice girls, who normally ply their trade on the streets of nearby Wolverhampton.

When a Sunday Mercury photographer turned up in the locality on Friday afternoon, he spotted a vice girl climbing into a lorry cab as soon as he arrived.

Councillor David Clifft, chairman of Essington Parish Council, said: "The lorry drivers have always been a magnet for prostitutes.

"But now, following the closure of the truckstop, drivers are having to park in nearby lay-bys in residential areas, such as Essington, and the women have followed them.

"The problem is not just happening during the hours of darkness. Girls can often be seen plying their trade in the daytime, too."

Essington villager Paul James said: "We thought we would have problems after the truckstop closed.

"We were expecting lorries to be parked all around the area, and to be troubled by noise and extra traffic.

"But we now have prostitutes, too.

"I went for a bike ride around the lanes with my daughter over Christmas and I spotted three of these women roaming around, wearing next to nothing and chatting up the truck drivers.

"My daughter is six. I don't want the risk of her seeing that kind of activity on her doorstep.

"Police can't be everywhere, so we need officers in the area specifically to deal with this problem."

Featherstone resident June Dawson said: "They ought to round them all up and lock them all up.

"The have no shame at all. They're brazen about it. It's bad enough with the lorries, but you don't want this as well."

Staffordshire Police are now planning a crackdown on the menace.

Inspector Steven Kenny said: "We are aware of the problems. There is an operation in place to try and address the issue."

bobhaywood@mrn.co.uk

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LAY-BY: a woman approaches a parked lorry on the Cannock Road in Featherstone
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2008
Words:473
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