Plans to increase Red Route penalties are punitive and pointless, warns FTA

Tuesday 19 December 2017

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is warning that plans to increase penalty charges for all vehicles stopping illegally on London’s Red Routes, including vans and lorries, are punitive and could be pointless.
FTA, the UK’s leading body representing the logistics sector, says it is bitterly disappointed by the news that Transport for London (TfL) intends to increase Red Route Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) from £130 to £160, because this will unfairly penalise freight operators undertaking vital deliveries and could eventually lead to higher delivery costs across the capital. The association says many truck and van drivers have no choice but park on Red Routes, as there are no suitable alternatives for them to use while servicing London’s “always on” businesses.

TfL announced its plans to increase PCNs for contraventions of the Congestion Charging Zone and the Red Route Network today (15th December). Congestion Charge Penalties will increase from 2nd January 2018 with a proposed rise for offences on TfL's road network to follow later in the year, subject to a review by the Transport Secretary.

Research shows that Penalty Charge Notices issued to “repeat offenders”, who have been fined more than once for stopping on Red Routes, have increased from almost 35 per cent to nearly 40 per cent over the past four years. But FTA’s Head of Policy for London, Natalie Chapman, says there has been no research to find out who these offenders are or why they are being fined more than once:

“The plan to increase the penalty charges for Red Routes is ill-considered. The fact that there’s been an increase in repeat offenders suggests these vehicles are making multiple journeys into London and they could well be van and truck deliveries. In many cases, there is simply nowhere for drivers to stop and deliver legally. It could also be that the operating hours of loading bays and red lines do not meet the needs of businesses or residents receiving deliveries and need to be changed.”

“FTA appreciates the challenges facing TfL and the London boroughs as they work to reduce congestion and illegal parking and will do all we can to work in partnership with TfL and local authorities to improve compliance by freight operators. But practical improvements are needed on routes into the city, such as increasing the number and size of loading bays, extending loading times and retiming deliveries so that the needs of London’s consumers and businesses can continue to be served.”

However, Ms Chapman says, FTA strongly opposes any attempt to increase Red Route penalties:

“We will be contacting the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, on behalf of FTA members to raise our very serious concerns about this increase and ask him to take action to protect London’s vital freight delivery services. Without solid evidence to support these higher charges, they could prove pointless and may end up punishing all of London’s residents and workers, who will have to pay the increased cost of deliveries.”

The Freight Transport Association is the UK’s largest and most influential membership association in the freight and logistics sector, with more than 16,000 members operating over 220,000 goods vehicles – half the UK’s fleet. Established in 1889, FTA’s members move goods by road, rail, sea and air, consign over 90 per cent of the UK freight moved by rail and 70 per cent of the nation’s sea and air freight.
FTA Press Office
01892 552255