25 September 2008 | Andy Allen
The vast number of parking fines issued to delivery vehicles has created a "millionaires' club" of UK suppliers who pay a million pounds or more a year in penalty charges, according to a new study.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has highlighted the plight of UK firms who incurred a total of more than £600 million of penalty charge notices last year for parking violations.
Natalie Chapman, regional manager for London at the FTA, said around a dozen member companies had incurred more than £1 million in fines a year. "It's the millionaires' club nobody wants to be a member of," she said.
At one company, BT Openreach, concerned shareholders reportedly raised the issue at an AGM.
The FTA has identified four areas of central London that pose particular problems and has asked traffic authorities to focus their attention and resources on these "Critical Delivery Zones".
"These are not the only areas of concern but we need to start somewhere," says Chapman.
Chapman said firms were particularly frustrated by the number of fines picked up when a vehicle was temporarily unattended while loading or unloading. While these fines are generally overturned on appeal, the bureaucracy involved is time consuming for businesses, she added.