IF YOU and your drivers are plagued by overzealous council officials slapping parking tickets on your vans, then take a small crumb of comfort in the fact that your are not alone.
These fines amount to a stealth tax on local businesses
It’s a problem that is becoming more and more prevalent nowadays as many councils have latched on to this money-spinning idea – and a report from the RAC Foundation suggests that a whopping £594 million was raised in the last financial year.
And transport groups are beginning to hit back at what they see is an unfair tax on businesses. While parking cars illegally is a pretty open and shut case, the same can’t be said for vans, which often need to stop briefly on yellow lines.
The Freight Transport Association head of urban logistics Christopher Snelling commented: “This isn’t just about park
ing – it also comes from loading and unloading. Many of our members are incorrectly fined as authorities are too eager to judge that they are parked when in fact they are in the legitimate process of delivering to local businesses.
“Many fines are also issued incorrectly when we had every right to be delivering in that location. These fines amount to a stealth tax on local businesses in these areas.”
An FTA survey in 2012 revealed a 50% leap in the number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) being issued in London, and recorded a rise in costs of deliveries which was directly related to the increase in the number of PCNs issued on the capital’s roads.
Chris said: “Authorities should not use the money made to support their general revenue as this gives them a perverse incentive not to help companies be able to deliver successfully.
“Instead the money should be channelled into improving loading space and parking availability and to improving the quality of enforcement, so that haulage companies are helped to make deliveries safe and efficient, to benefit the local economy.”
Figures for the current financial year are expected to be even higher: budgets submitted to the Government by councils suggest it could stand at about £632 million.