Olympic concern for business as parking fines rise by a third in London

Friday 16 March 2012

FTA is delighted by the Mayor's decision not to increase parking fines to £200 during the Olympics. The Olympics and Paralympics are likely to see commercial vehicle operators attract more PCNs as they try to feed greater demand for goods against a backdrop of severe road restrictions. A higher PCN level would have penalised those companies who unfairly attract PCNs in the course of keeping London's high streets well stocked; a function that is of even greater importance when London plays host to the world's greatest event this summer.

The cost of Penalty Charge Notices issued to trucks and vans in London has been rising steadliy and has increased by 30 per cent in just two-and-a-half years, according to a survey by the Freight Transport Association. Companies delivering goods kerbside on the high-street typically attract PCNs, albeit quite innocently. Indeed, by far the most common reason that commercial vehicles are issued with PCNs is while loading or unloading goods in an area where 'parking' is restricted. Although these are often successfully contested by companies – a costly process in itself – many are not, leaving industry to foot the bill for many millions of pounds a year.

Natalie Chapman, FTA's Head of Policy for London, said:

"Our survey demonstrates the enormous costs that operators have to shoulder as a result of delivering in London. While the number of tickets issued to our members rose by 30 per cent, London Councils' data shows the number of PCNs issued to all road users, including motorists, actually reduced over the same period. This suggests there is a need for commercial vehicle operators to improve their understanding of how certain ‘parking’ restrictions apply. As well as training drivers and identifying PCN 'hotspots', a well-targeted and intelligent approach to appealing unfair PCNs could save some companies hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

"It is equally important for Local Authorities to ensure that there is sufficient kerbside space and loading facilities for deliveries and for Civil Enforcement Officers to understand why trucks and vans may be in a restricted parking area in the first place, and apply some common sense when issuing tickets."

Chapman continued:

"As well as providing great opportunities, this summer is going to pose an enormous challenge for the logistics sector in London – the last thing it needs are further financial burdens. Today's decision by the Mayor will go a long way to stop the spiralling costs of delivering to businesses and residents in London during the Games."

Notes for editors

1. Twenty-six FTA members took part in a survey of PCN data between Q1 2009 and Q2 2011. Between them they attracted over 80,000 PCNs at a total cost of £3.86 million. The average PCN cost was £148,349, the maximum was £957,845 and the minimum was £295.00.

2. The rise in PCN costs was directly related to the increase in the number of PCNs issued across the sample. From a baseline of 100 (£356,713) in Q1 2009, the cost index rose to 130 (£465,445) by Q2 2011) a 30 % rise.

3. Top five PCN Hotspots in 2011:

1. Tottenham Court Road 356 (PCNs issued) 
2. Charing Cross 286 
3. High Street Bromley 250 
4. Old Broad Street 224 
5. Baker Street 213

For a copy of the full survey contact Jackie Langridge at jlangridge@fta.co.uk


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