The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has stated that the half a billion pound profit for councils in England generated by parking fines last year, is a “tax on business too”.
The FTA was responding to the publication by the RAC Foundation, which reported figures recording record profits made by English local authorities for parking fines – known as Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). The report showed that in 2012-13 a surplus of £594m was made from parking activities.
The FTA noted that as well as private motorists, the cash is also raised by fining delivery companies who are trying to supply the goods that towns and cities need to keep functioning.
FTA’s head of urban logistics Christopher Snelling said: "This isn’t just about parking – 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."
FTA’s own PCN Survey 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.
Snelling added: "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.