The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the Transport Select Committee’s call to government to review “unacceptable” local authority parking enforcement, which is costing operators hundreds of thousands pounds a year in Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

James Hookham, FTA managing director of policy and communications, who gave evidence to the committee, said that parking enforcement strategy needed a major overhaul, as it fails to distinguish between ‘parking provision’ for private cars and economic necessity of commercial deliveries.

“No operator sets out to deliberately contravene the restrictions on parking, but the lack of adequate provision means that delivery vehicles have little choice but to stop on restricted routes to gain access to adjacent premises, and become ‘easy pickings’ for enforcement officers.  The law needs to be clarified to distinguish between ‘parking’ and ‘delivery and servicing activity’,” he added.

The Transport Select Committee said local authorities must ensure the need to restrict parking and manage congestion does not “stifle” the ability of businesses to trade and help grow the economy, and recommends a roundtable discussion with hauliers and councils to “identify and disseminate innovative ways of dealing with this problem”.

Indeed, Westminster City Council’s Commercial Deliveries Group was highlighted as an example of best practice when looking at ways local authorities can engage with operators and find ways to relax parking restrictions for business deliveries, as was the suggestion of providing local consolidation centres to manage the volume of deliveries on the road.

Hookham added:  “Greater leadership by central government is needed to ensure a consistent and fair application of the parking policy framework which respects the difference between illegal parking and vital business deliveries.”

The government is expected to provide a response to the committee's findings within two months, according to parliamentary regulations.