Soaring parking fines are just a revenue-raiser, says FTA
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Lorry operators in London could see costs soar if proposals to increase parking charges in Greater London go ahead, warns the Freight Transport Association (FTA). Proposed parking charge hikes will take fines for higher rate parking offences from £120 to £130, lining the pockets of the London boroughs and hammering lorry operators who often encounter such fines due to the nature of the deliveries they make.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said:
“Lorry drivers have no choice but to stop their vehicles to unload their deliveries in many cases making such fines unavoidable; if they didn’t then London’s shops, restaurants and markets would be empty. Unfortunately, for our members due to the nature of loading and unloading the vast majority of their contraventions are categorised as ‘serious’, and are therefore subject to the ten pound price hike. This is grossly unfair and amounts to a tax on business.
"The London boroughs who are members of London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee and have set this increased fine level are the direct beneficiaries of the revenue being raised. A cynic might be forgiven for thinking that this could have had some bearing on the decision particularly as council budgets are being dramatically slashed.”
The principle behind differential charging systems for the seriousness of parking infractions is in itself sound, but because the higher rate of £130 (a rise of 30 per cent in just four years) is skewed massively toward lorries, as opposed to motorists who are more likely not to have a valid excuse for parking infractions, FTA made the case for a Commercial Vehicle rate of £100 in its submission to London Councils’ Additional Parking Charges consultation.
FTA member and Chairman of the Brewery Logistics Group, Mike Bracey said:
“No attempt has been made by London Councils to consider the views of the haulage industry, and it’s not as if they haven’t had the chance to do so. I was staggered when we saw that in spite of our best efforts not once has the commercial vehicle operator been considered in this review.
“Our frustrations at successive hikes in fines over many years have been repeatedly ignored so once again we are left picking up the bill for parking fines which are, after all, an inevitable fact of life for us.”
FTA Press Office