Penalty Charge Notices

Transport for London’s proposed changes to increase the Penalty Charge Notice Level for drivers

Friday 06 April 2018

FTA strongly opposes the proposed increase to Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued for red route contraventions as there does not appear to be any underlying data to show that it will actually lead to an improvement in compliance. 

Lorries and vans play an indispensable role in servicing our towns and cities. Their unique ability to move freight literally from door to door determines their pre-eminent role in distributing goods and services throughout London. Ninety percent of London’s freight is moved by road. Over 360,000 tonnes of goods are moved by lorries across the capital on average each day. That’s 15,000 tonnes picked up or dropped off each hour, or 250 tonnes every minute. And as this figure excludes vans, it is only a part of what freight does. 

The rationale behind the proposed increase is that the cost of a PCN has remained unchanged for four years. Over that time there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of PCNs issued for contraventions of the rules of the red route network and the Congestion Charging zone. In addition, PCNs issued to ‘repeat offenders’ (those who have received at least one PCN from TfL before) for red route contraventions, have increased from almost 35 per cent to nearly 40 per cent over the same period.

FTA understands the challenge that Transport for London and the boroughs have with managing competing demands at the kerbside, but a lack of places to legally deliver pushes up the costs of goods and services in London. Sensible management of this could reduce business costs as well as reducing mileage from driving around and waiting to find a suitable loading/unloading space.

FTA's stance on proposed increases in Penalty Charge Notice Levels

FTA understands the rationale behind the proposed increase is that the cost of a PCN has remained unchanged for four years and over that time there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of PCNs issued for contraventions of the rules of the red route network and the Congestion Charging zone.

In addition, PCNs issued to ‘repeat offenders’ (those who have received at least one PCN from TfL before) for red route contraventions, have increased from almost 35 per cent to nearly 40 per cent over the same period. However, there does not appear to be any published data detailing who the PCNs are issued to, i.e. whether they relate to private cars or commercial vehicles. Again, there is no breakdown of the ‘repeat offender’ data. It is possible that there are businesses who regularly receive PCNs at the same location due the lack of alternative loading/unloading provision and an increase in the PCN level will not provide the deterrent effect TfL is expecting, but will simply make servicing the capital more expensive.

FTA strongly opposes the proposed increase to PCNs issues for red route contraventions as there does not appear to be any underlying data to show that it will actually lead to an improvement in compliance. This proposal will simply add to the cost of servicing the capital and push up prices for London’s businesses, residents and visitors. We will oppose this change unless it is part of a package of measures that will actually help operators. Solutions may include:

  • altering the times of loading bays
  • lengthening loading bays
  • increasing the number of loading bays
  • increasing the maximum loading times in loading bays (i.e. from 20 to 40 minutes)
  • retiming deliveries (where possible)

The Association encourages TfL to identify loading/unloading hotspots and work with companies who regularly receive PCNs to find alternatives that enable them to service their customers without risk of receiving a PCN. FTA would be happy to facilitate individual discussions between TfL and freight operators.

Find out more

FTA response to TfL PCN consultation

Contact Natalie Chapman, Head of South of England and Urban Policy at FTA